American F1 Team

Dan and Phil’s dream the American F1 Team

Unraced 2000 - 2009

When the Orange Arrows team disappeared from the grid, several groups were interested to save the team. One of these attempts was the All American F1 dream from Dan Gurney and Phil Hill. No Phil Hill is not family of Graham Hill. Their plan to create a Formula One team with American drivers, American employees well everything American except for the tyres and the engines. Time to bring this forgotten All American dream back to the surface.

For those who don’t know Dan Gurney and Phil Hill here a short History lesson. Dan Gurney made its debut as Formula One driver in 1959 with Scuderia Ferrari and would retire in 1970 when racing a few races for McLaren. Gurney won three races and was as constructor with the Anglo American Racers from 1966 till 1968.

Phil Hill debuted in 1959 with the Maserati 250F for Jo Bonnier. And would race his last f1 race in 1966. In 1961, he won the world championship with Scuderia Ferrari. Like Gurney Hill operated as well with his own team in 1966 racing in a Lotus 25 and Mclaren M2B. To race his last race in 1966 with Anglo American Racers.

Gurney came with the idea in January 2002 to create the American F1 Team. Hill was only involved in September of the year when the changes were bigger as Arrows went into bankruptcy. Bob Balachowski and Russ Olsen were working on a business plan. While Bernie Ecclestone was behind this plan. Danny Sullivan was involved as well. Sullivan told the media that the idea behind the American F1 Team was simple. An All American F1 Team, the same principle as USF1 tried 6 years later. However, some sources (included an interview with Phil) state that Hill was not involved at all.

First, they created a plan to bring American race drivers to Europe. A test session at Paul Ricard in France was planned for drivers in a age range of 16 till 24. After the test session four of them will be selected to keep on supporting them in Europe. This would happen every year.

Dan Gurney however told the media that he was in contact with the Cosworth Company to supply the American F1 team with engines for perhaps in 2003 or 2004. Niki Lauda at that time confirmed they were on speaking terms to make a deal. There wasn’t much to say about it. Speculated was that Derek Hill and Brian Herta could be the drivers for the team.  It was said in October 2002 more info would arrive.

While it was linked to a buy out of the Arrows team from Tom Walkinshaw, It would make sense as they would use the starting permit from Arrows in 2003.  The news came on the 23th of October that the American F1 Team was just an American dream that would not materialise sadly. Mostly due the fact that the people involved were not prepared to commit to a situation which was not properly funded for at least three years.

Rumours stated that Paul Stoddart was involved as well in the project as Brian Herta already tested with the Minardi PS02.