US F1 team in bid to skip first four races

US F1 team principal Ken Anderson has revealed he is in talks with the FIA over the possibility of missing the first four grands prix of the season.

Speculation has been rife this past week the team had collapsed in the wake of a number of sponsorship deals falling through.

Anderson has now finally broken his silence, admitting his team is struggling financially, with their only hope now coming via negotiations with motor sport's world governing body.

"We're working with the FIA to clarify how many races we can miss," confirmed Anderson to the New York Times.

"In an ideal world, we can miss the first four races and show up in Barcelona (Spanish Grand Prix on May 9)."

If the FIA accede to US F1's request, it means the North Carolina-based team would sit out the races in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China.

Only recently the FIA confirmed any team missing a race would be in breach of the Concorde Agreement - relating to the terms by which the teams compete in the series - and so would be penalised.

Anderson, however, believes it would not be in the FIA's interests to punish his team, and is hoping president Jean Todt will look on his outfit's troubles sympathetically.

"I guess anything's possible, but what would be the point of that?" remarked Anderson on the FIA's threat of sanctions.

"Why would they give us a franchise and just, the first time there's a bump in the road, yank it and put it out of business?

"That's definitely not the message I'm getting from them. They want to help us, not shut us down."

Anderson is hoping the FIA do not dither, adding: "We have a timeline in place that if we get a decision quickly, it triggers funding and we're good to go.

"If it takes another week or two to make a decision, it keeps backing up."

Although US F1 announced the signing of Argentinian driver Jose Maria Lopez just a few weeks ago and said he was under contract, Anderson has confirmed he could yet leave.

It is understood Lopez has spoken with Campos Meta, who yesterday confirmed they would be on the grid in Bahrain after an internal takeover.

Campos has so far only Bruno Senna, the nephew of late three times world champion Ayrton, on their books, but had delayed the signing of a second driver due to their own financial issues.

As Lopez has sponsorship behind him from the Argentinian government he may yet switch teams as Campos still require additional funding.

One other rumour Anderson dismissed is that investor Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube, is still involved with the team.

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