F1 News, Views and Reviews

Prodrive Will Not Attempt To Gain 2011 F1 Entry

David Richards, the boss of the Prodrive performance company has said he will not attempt to enter Formula One again in 2011.

The former boss of British American Racing and the Subaru World Rally Team has tried twice before t gain entry, being successful for 2008 but failing to make the grid, and being unsuccessful for an entry for this season when Manor, Campos and USF1 were allowed entry.

He says there is little point in attempting to gain entry again, with the difficulties surrounding starting a fresh team, under new regulations and trying to find sponsors while the economy is still struggling financially.  Richards added he wanted to focus on his companies re-entry into WRC, which could be with the new Mini car, and also their large Le Mans project under the Gulf Aston Martin banner.

“Our current focus is on Prodrive’s return to the World Rally Championship in 2011 and that alone takes significant resource to design and develop a totally new car,” said Richards.

“Taking on the challenge of starting a brand new Formula 1 team, finding the necessary funding and developing the car from scratch is a massive undertaking and not to be under estimated.

“As expected, we’ve witnessed the financial and technical challenges that the new teams have faced this year in just getting to the grid, let alone being competitive and whilst I have enormous admiration for their efforts I don’t believe this is an appropriate strategy for Prodrive or Aston Martin to adopt.”

He added: “We’ve enjoyed a successful involvement in F1 in the past and respect the value it can create; we will therefore keep a close eye on developments in the championship.

“However, I have always made it very clear that the timing for a Prodrive entry would be judged on two criteria: that we could be competitive and that the business case would make it a financially viable proposition. Today, if we were to adopt the strategy of starting a new team, I don’t believe it is possible to meet these two conditions.”

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