At least Virgin Racing recovered from its early setback to become an established member of the F1 grid, now entering its fifth season in its current guise as Marussia.
It’s more than can be said for the doomed USF1 team, which failed to make it to the grid in Bahrain during the same season.
The project was the brainchild of F1 journalist and former Williams team manager Peter Windsor and former Haas CNC Racing technical director Ken Anderson. It was an ambitious undertaking. The team was set to be based in Charlotte, North Carolina with the aim of promoting American drivers and technology in F1, particularly with running its own gearbox.
Alas, the team ran into financial problems before the start of the season with its primary investor, Chad Hurley, withdrawing his backing. Windsor and his partners were forced to admit defeat and the team shut down.
“Obviously I was very, very sad,” Windsor told ESPNF1. “Equally, I've learnt a lot—and, hopefully, I'm a better person for it.”
I wanted to do an all-new and very creative F1 team, we got an entry, we gave it 100 per cent and we didn't make it. A few people have said a lot of nasty, critical things—but, believe me, none of the things they've said has been as tough as the things I've said to myself.
That's what happens when you try something difficult and new. A friend said to me recently that a bit of humiliation is always good for the soul, and, as hard as that is to swallow, I know deep down that she is right.