US F1 was always going to be the most difficult of the new teams to get off the ground for the 2010 world championship, but last week America’s latest effort to join the Grand Prix elite finally stalled in the slow lane before ever seeing a test track, let alone an F1 paddock.

I feel huge sympathy for my good friend Peter Windsor over this. Peter, who many years ago was one of Autocar’s most respected sports editors, always had a dream that he wanted to get involved in his own team. For the past 12 months or so, his keen anticipation of 2010 was obvious and the enthusiasm with which he attacked the task consistently unwavering.

But that all came to an end last week when the US F1 operation in Charlotte, North Carolina, stopped answering the telephone and the handful of remaining workers were advised that they would have to take unpaid leave.

Windsor’s business partner Ken Anderson’s optimism was less convincing. One minute he was ‘working with the FIA’ to see how many races the team could be permitted to miss.The next minute he was ‘working with the FIA’ to see if the team’s entry could be deferred until 2011.

Frankly, I would be utterly amazed if the sport’s governing body, having given US F1 a ‘franchise’ it couldn’t live up to, would take any more calls from him. Even assuming the US F1 switchboard was working.