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Prodrive rules out 2011 F1 bid
Prodrive boss David Richards has ruled out a bid for the 13th grid slot in Formula One 2011.
Prodrive first attempted to enter F1 in 2008 but its participation was vetoed by other teams as it planned to use a customer car from McLaren. In 2009 the company applied for an entry again but was beaten by Manor, Campos and US F1 in the FIA's selection process. Richards has now said the company will not be applying for a third time as it plans to focus all its attention on its other projects in rallying and sports car racing.
"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," he said. "At the same time, we continue to expand our activities with Aston Martin in all categories of sports car 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 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."
Richards did not rule out a future bid to join F1 but said it would be dependent on the conditions in the category at the time.
"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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