[Autoblog]Remember when F1 teams were independent racing outfits, before the major automakers starting buying them all up? Well, if the Honda/Brawn GP saga and the tightening of budgets at carmaker headquarters around the world are anything to go by, the Formula One world could be back at that stage sooner than you might think. But the next team to bridge that divide will be the nascent USF1 team that's scheduled to join the grid next year. Going the independent route, USF1 is reportedly seriously considering forgoing an engine deal with any of the major manufacturers (Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, Renault, Ferrari) currently in the sport in favor of a partnership with Cosworth.
The British engineering firm was once a mainstay on F1 grids, powering teams in every season from 1963 through 2006, when Williams switched to Toyota customer engines, leaving Cosworth with no partner teams. However FIA president Max Mosley recently pitched a proposal for Cosworth to provide a sanctioned, low-cost engine package for independent teams. None of the teams adopted the idea at the time, but USF1 could find it more attractive in keeping with its independent profile, especially since Cosworth was bought by American racing organizers Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven of Indy racing fame.
As for the name, the team is currently known alternately as USGPE (United States Grand Prix Engineering) or Team USF1 because the F1 name is owned by Bernie Ecclestone and company. For its part, the team says that its official name will be revealed as the next season approaches.