Prodrive not making 2011 F1 application

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Rallying remains Prodrive's priority
Rallying remains Prodrive's priority

Prodrive is not applying to be the 13th team in F1 in 2011, despite having made several attempts to join in recent years.

A statement issued by the team said it is focussing on competing in the World Rally Championship and sportscar racing in 2011.

Prodrive was one of the teams which applied to join the grid this year, but was turned down in favour of Campos (now HRT), Manor (now Virgin), US F1 (which failed to get on the grid) and, later, Lotus.

The outfit run by David Richards was granted a place on the grid for 2008 as the FIA prepared to bring in rules allowing teams to run customer cars. But after the FIA failed to get the customer car rules approved Prodrive was unable to compete.

When Honda put its team up for sale at the end of 2008 Prodrive looked into taking it over, but instead Ross Brawn and Nick Fry completed a management buy-out of the team which became Brawn GP and is now owned by Mercedes.

Richards also looked into buying Renault’s team at the end of last year before it sold a stake to Genii Capital.

Richards said:

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. At the same time, we continue to expand our activities with Aston Martin in all categories of sportscar racing, in the USA, Europe and at Le Mans. We also have a full V8 Supercar series to contest in Australia with Ford, which together with further investment in advanced vehicle technologies for road car applications creates a very demanding agenda for the business.

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

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.
David Richards

Update: Lola also not entering F1 in 2011

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