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F1: Richards confirms Prodrive are out


Prodrive boss David Richards has confirmed that his company is unlikely to be participating in Formula One racing in the foreseeable future.

Speaking at the Autosport International Show, he said that the new Concorde Agreement which will govern the next few years of the sport, will effectively ruled out customer teams.


He told Autosport.com: “[It] ultimately determines that each team has to be a constructor, and the barriers to entry are horrendous.

“The barrier to entry and being competitive make it virtually impossible, so I do have to question under those terms whether we will consider doing it.

“I am waiting now. There is nothing I can do to influence it any longer. I have done my best and we will sit and wait, let the dust settle and then see what happens.”

Prodrive was awarded the 12th grid slot by the FIA last year in a competitive battle that included former team bosses Paul Stoddart and Eddie Jordan as well as former driver Eddie Irvine and BAR co-founder Craig Pollock.

It was all set to line up on the grid in March with a McLaren customer car – until a lack of clarity about the legal position of such cars was brought to a head by the threat of court action from Williams team boss Sir Frank Williams.

Richards continued: “I just think it is a folly. It plays into the hands of very large organisations with limitless resources and it doesn’t serve the interests of the sport well.

“A disparity as great as we have today from the front of the grid to the back is not healthy, and the fact that a new entry is nigh on impossible also is not healthy.

“I believe firmly that the ideas and concept that the FIA had two years ago, of introducing the idea of a customer based vehicle, was exactly the right way to go.”

He said that he will be concentrating on rebuilding the competitive edge of his Subaru World Rally Championship (WRC) team.

When asked if Prodrive ever would race in F1, he said: “I believe firmly that Prodrive should be there. There is no question in my mind that we should be there.

“But we are not going to be there without any consideration for the terms of being there.”


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