Windsor went on to team glory with Williams and Ferrari. But his efforts to create teams of his own proved to be, in his words, "somewhat soul-destroying." He and Anderson worked together on several stateside projects that foundered from lack of funding. Then Windsor and former racer Tetsu Ikuzawa began scouring Japan for backing for an F1 operation. People were hired and technical drawings were commissioned, but the project was stillborn. "You never know when to stop, because you always think something's going to happen tomorrow," Windsor says. "We kept going, kept going, and kept going until we had no money left at all. That was two years of my life. Then I started again as a journalist."
Before long, Windsor's writing was being featured regularly in F1 Racing magazine. But it was his broadcast work on the grid before F1 races and conducting the interviews in the official postrace news conferences that earned him cult status with American F1 fans. "He had to walk a tightrope without a net, and he was always on the brink of disaster," says Speed vice president Frank Wilson. "What was most impressive about him was his ability to ask relevant questions under pressure."
Still, Windsor's most extraordinary qualities are his persistence and a brand of optimism that borders on delusion. In 2006, despite setbacks that would have crushed a lesser man, he embarked on yet another run at putting together a Formula 1 team. As he and Anderson made the rounds of potential investors from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, their pitch was simple and straightforward: We can do it cheaper. We can do it better. And we can do it in America. "Without touching American race fans the way I've been able to through Speed, I certainly wouldn't have had the same motivation to do US F1," Windsor says. "I'm not an American, but I owe a lot to America. It's given me a fantastic career in television, and I want to give something back."
Two American cars on the grid at Bahrain would be nice. A win would be even nicer.
Watch this space.