Richards not willing to take F1 ‘risk’

Prodrive boss David Richards has said he wasn’t willing to risk job losses at his company by entering F1 in 2011.

Richards, who revealed in April he was not applying to compete in F1 next year, told The Independent:

I wasn’t prepared to risk everyone’s livelihoods. It was quite interesting to watch the reaction of everybody when I told them. The biggest fear people at Prodrive had is that we were going to risk everything on one throw of the dice by entering F1.
David Richards

Read more: Prodrive not making 2011 F1 application

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34 comments on Richards not willing to take F1 ‘risk’

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2010, 10:45

    From the latest development, postponing the decision on the 13th team, i think Richards did well not to go for it.

    ART seem to have a good bid (GP2 experience, Ferrari contacts, Toyota chassis, maybe even Mercedes engine) as well as a chance of favourism from the FIA and Epsilon Euskadi is feeling secure they would be doing a good job (if the deal is not postponed so far, they will pull out of the process).

    So if Prodrive was not convinced on the balance between cost+risk – profit it is good they passed this opportunity on.

    • Steph90 (@steph90) said on 21st June 2010, 12:08

      ART do seeem a good choice on the face of it but I’ll doubt they’ll get a Merc engine when they said it was unlikely the would supply a 4th team just recently.

      With RBR constantly moaning about the lack of power with the Renault engine it could be assumed maybe they don’t want to supply a rival (like Ferrari seem to approach) but they seem or seemed fairly comfortable supplying Mclaren as it just meant another win for their engine. That suggests they really don’t want to supply to any 4th team then so I think that’s unlikely maybe Cosworth is the best bet and possibly Ferrari if they can supply another team.

      • Merc could almost certainly supply a 4th team, but why would they want to supply Redbull? Redbull apear to have a fantastically efficient gear box, an that supposed 30hp gap is a major advantage to Mercs 2 big teams.

        What threat would Art really be? Supply em take some credit from what’ll probably be a very good new team.

  2. GeeMac said on 21st June 2010, 10:57

    Well that is officially that then. I didn’t have high hopes for a Prodrive entry, but its still not nice to read it like that.

    *Sad face*

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2010, 11:52

      It’s been officially “that” for some time now – Prodrive confirmed they would not be entering a bid several months ago.

      • GeeMac said on 21st June 2010, 12:35

        True, but everytime he comes out and says Prodrive aren’t entering I get my sad face out…

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2010, 14:26

      I must say, that after reading Richards proposals to “improve” Formula 1, i will be glad if you have to wait quite a while to see that happen.
      http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=41149

      On the upside, you might be watching WRC with Richards and Toyota next year, competing with Kimi in his C4, now that is not too bad a perspective, isn’t it?

      • PJA said on 21st June 2010, 15:17

        I read that article and I agree with you, I don’t like Richards ideas to improve F1 either.

        I have seen people suggest things such as reverse grids and the like before and I am defiantly against the idea for F1.

        As far as know F1 has always had the fastest cars in qualifying at the front of the starting grid, so for Richards to say you will never get a show with the fastest at the front and the slowest at the back is obviously wrong.

        Also because grid position is more important at some tracks than others it wouldn’t mean that everyone got a fair opportunity during the year

        I think the way qualifying is at the moment is great in its own right, never mind that it determines the grid for the race.

        If you knew who would be on pole for every race at the start of the season it might generate interest for some fans for the race they know their favourite will start at the front but I fail to see how it will create more excitement overall.

      • Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 20:56

        Those proposals from Dave sound like exactly the sort of thing you’d like to see if you were coming into the sport with a new small team. D’oh.

      • Mike said on 22nd June 2010, 7:53

        Yeah reverse grids get rid of Monaco and make the the mothers of the drivers do the pit stops.

        Me and him think alike.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2010, 11:10

    Interesting article in the Independent, seems Toyota is going back to the gravel and ice of rallying with Prodrive.

  4. Marc Connell said on 21st June 2010, 11:29

    Maybe in the future. I bet there waiting for the right moment.

  5. Nelson PK said on 21st June 2010, 11:34

    honestly, if they entered as aston martin, they’d have a better chance because f1 needs more manufacturers. is hyundai going to enter? they said they would with ecclestone’s announcement of the korean gp.

    • Ben said on 21st June 2010, 11:48

      yeah, cos the manufacturer’s did such a sterling job in the last few years, didn’t they?

      F1 doesn’t need manufacturers. They only approach it as a marketing exercise, and when the sums don’t add up they walk away and leave the sport in the lurch. Just like BMW, Toyota and Honda did.

      F1 needs teams who exist to race, groups who care about the racing.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2010, 11:55

      honestly, if they entered as aston martin, they’d have a better chance

      Their plan had always been to become Aston Martin. They had floated the idea as early as 2007. Although Prodrive own the Aston Martin marque, there are certain contractural obligations that prevent them from entering a sport as Aston Martin straight away. They would have to enter as Prodrive, run for two or three years under the name, and then switch to Aston Martin.

      because f1 needs more manufacturers

      No it doesn’t. Manufacturers traditionally do not last long in the sport (BMW made it three years, Honda made it three years, Toyota lsted for eight) and only drive up costs, which hurts the independent teams. Even the likes of Ferrari started out as racing teams before they became manufacturers. Formula 1 doesn’t need them at all.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2010, 12:48

        Strictly speaking, prodrive don’t own Aston Martin do they? Isn’t it a group of people predominantly featuring Richards?

      • PJA said on 21st June 2010, 14:10

        I always thought that the reason the plan was to change names to Aston Martin after a few years was because they wanted the team to become competitive before the Aston Martin name was associated with it.

      • Spud said on 21st June 2010, 19:25

        Formula 1 doesn’t need them at all.

        Couldn’t agree more.

        As soon as the word “recession” came along they ran scared and left others to clean up. Ross Brawn was lucky since him and his team built a monster of a car last year but Peter Sauber is massively struggling and the people in Toyota’s factory are jobless, probably.

        That’s really the problem for me, the fact that they left so many people in the lurch and caused so much hardship, when it could have been avoided.

        Can’t help but wonder what they would have done if the “breakaway” series went ahead. They could have ruined that aswell. More independant teams is the way to go. If the manufacturers want to play, let them supply engines and no more.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2010, 3:53

          They breakaway series was doomed from the outset, with or without the manufacturers. You simply cannot have one party setting the rules, playing by the rules and enforcing the rules. The FIA might have been a mess last year, but anything is better than the FOTA system because it would be too easy for teams to start manipulating the rules to favour them and discredit the others. Say for example that Ferrari had come up with the concept of the F-duct and it gave them a massive advantage. What would there be to stop them from influencing the rule book in subsequent years to give them an advantage because they already had a massive head-start on it, whilst blocking the other teams from developing one? You know they would do it. The FIA might have been in ruins, but they were still separate from the sport the way the teams aren’t. And that’s better than one team trying to use their power and influence to give themselves an advantage and create an era of dominance.

  6. P. Rippon said on 21st June 2010, 12:22

    I am a Hyundai Dealer & I assure you that Hyundai will count every cent & check every fact first, including the bad PR from Honda & Toyota before they make a move and on all fronts Hyundai are far more tight fisted than both of the aforementioned Companies. We were told that they were more likely to re-enter rallying when the new i20/i30 was launched but to date nothing has been said!

    • surely hyundai have to be a bit more tightfisted as you nicely put it to be able to produce their cars at lower prices than others with higher levels of equipment.

      and 9 times out of 10 give a much better customer service too.

  7. Really every team is a manufacturer in a sense. They do after all design and construct their own cars, thereby manufacturing cars, albeit on a small scale.

    I have no problem with large scale manufacturers being in the sport as long as it’s for the right reason; to race, and be committed to the sport for the long term; to race without the constraint of corporate targets / KPI’s.

  8. Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 12:58

    Haven’t they already applied twice before recently? Surely there were risks inherent there too.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st June 2010, 14:03

      Five times, actually: 1) they applied in 2007 and received the entry, but failed to show; 2) they then attempted to purchase the remains of Honda before Tokyo sold it to Ross Brawn; 3) following that, they submitted an entry for the 2010 selection process, but were overlooked; 4) they tried again when BMW announced their withdrawal, but the FIA chose Lotus; 5) finally, the team attempted to buy Renault when the French manufacturer put the team on the market, but lost out when Renault went with Genii Capital.

      • Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 15:41

        I wasn’t specifically counting when they tried to buy existing outfits, but thanks for listing them anyway, it does rather weaken Dave Richards comments.

      • 2007 wasn’t really Prodrive failing to show, the made an entry on specific grounds which was accepted, the FIA failed to deliver on the promises they made, Prodrive wern’t the ones at fault.

        • leon said on 21st June 2010, 19:11

          Didn’t Richards and Mosley have scores to settle and a lot of bad blood over the final years of Mosley’s presidency ?

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2010, 3:56

          2007 wasn’t really Prodrive failing to show, the made an entry on specific grounds which was accepted, the FIA failed to deliver on the promises they made, Prodrive wern’t the ones at fault.

          We’ve had this argument before – the FIA may not have gotten the regulations passed, but that was because Williams blocked them. Prodrive should have considered that the rules under which they wanted to enter may not be popular with the teams, and come up with a solution in the event that they were shot down. They didn’t, and when Williams said no, Prodrive were an embarrassment.

  9. I like it when Dave Richards comes out and tells everybody that Prodrive aren’t planning to enter F1. Reminds me of a teenager who’s just been dumped sticking out their bottom lip and saying, “Well, I never liked you anyway.”

    • Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 15:42

      I wonder if someone with time on their hands could see if there’s a direct correlation between di Montezemelo criticising the new teams and Dave Richards saying something about Prodrive not getting in/not wanting in…

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 22nd June 2010, 4:18

      I like it when Dave Richards comes out and tells everybody that Prodrive aren’t planning to enter F1. Reminds me of a teenager who’s just been dumped sticking out their bottom lip and saying, “Well, I never liked you anyway.”

      I like it even more when Dave Ricahrds comes out and tells everybody that Prodrive aren’t planning to enter F1, but then he goes ahead and gives suggestions on how the sport could be bettered.

  10. UneedAFinn2Win said on 21st June 2010, 21:56

    Lets not forget David Richards & co ran the WRC down the drain during his stint as promoter, he drove ALL the big car manufacturers (who’d won multiple championships) out by inflating costs, ruining the cars, taking Rallying to places it was never going to succeed, and attempting to remove the “classics” from the calendar. His inabilities are directly responsible for the current “world” series with four cars racing on top with just two of them allowed to race for the title and formation of the breakaway IRC series.
    WRC IS turning around with new people and new rules coming in next year, but we’ve had to deal with Richards fallout the past few years.

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