FONTANA, Calif. – A new Formula One team based in the United States will announce its plans Tuesday, but no Sprint Cup drivers with connections to the series expect to be involved.
Juan Pablo Montoya, who has seven career Formula One victories, seemed surprised when asked about the pending announcement Friday at Auto Club Speedway in California.
“I didn’t even know there was supposed to be a team here,” Montoya said.
Scott Speed, who competed in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, laughed when asked if he was going back to that circuit.
“No, I don’t think so,” the Red Bull Racing driver said. “I’ve been there, done that.”
Maybe the only driver with significant open-wheel experience who could be persuaded to go to Formula One is AJ Allmendinger, who is without a full-time Sprint Cup ride.
Allmendinger said he is scheduled to run the first eight races this year, plus the July race in Daytona for Richard Petty Motorsports.
“It has intrigue for sure,” said Allmendinger, who won five Champ Car races before migrating to NASCAR. “Driving a race car, no matter what it is, has intrigue to me. That [car] is something that I haven’t driven before, so it’s intriguing, but it’s not my focus either.
“I really do love being here. I’ve had a lot of fun during the stressful times, especially this year with the group of guys that we’ve put together for the 44 [car] because it was last-minute deal, they are guys that want to be here. We’re having fun. Through all the stressful times that we had in Daytona, in between that, I was having a lot of fun, probably the most fun that I’ve had at a race track in long time. You don’t say, ‘No’ to anything, but that’s not my focus.”