British sportscar company Lola is considering whether or not it will pursue the project of Formula One entry any further – with a decision likely tomorrow.
On Friday, when the FIA announced which of a clutch of prospective new entrants had been approved for the 2010 F1 grid, the Huntingdon-based company was surprisingly absent. The other glaring omission was David Richards’ Banbury-based Prodrive.
The team said then that it would continue to remain in discussions with the FIA about a potential entry until this week’s final deadline of June 19 – in case any of the current squads are not granted entry.
Now – following a successful haul at Le Mans that saw it come fourth overall in its partnership with Aston Martin and second in the LMP2 class with Speedy Racing Team Sebah – the team is drawing breath to consider its next move.
Lola boss Martin Birrane said: “We’ve had our model in the tunnel for the last week, and we have a proper car now. We’ve had a lot of people working on it for seven weeks, with a lot of input from people with current experience in Formula 1.
“The button is pressed, it’s just a case of do we turn it off. We’ve made no decisions yet.”
The FIA will need to find several credible entrants quickly if the row about the conditions of 2010 entry cannot be solved – leaving McLaren, Brawn GP, BMW Sauber, Toyota and Renault potentially without entries. Those of the calibre of Prodrive and Lola would seem ideal.
The organisation has also taken the view that Ferrari, Red Bull and Toro Rosso has entered unconditionally, on the grounds of having signed a new Concorde Agreement – a position the teams involved dispute vehemently and which has led to a refusal from Ferrari to race in 2010 unless its terms are met.