Prodrive’s plans to enter the Formula 1 World Championship in 2008 remain in limbo after negotiations to use McLaren customer cars broke down in mid-October.
McLaren has always said that it would need sufficient notice to put a customer deal together. The team also wanted a minimum three-year commitment and financial guarantees as it would have had to hire new personnel for the programme.
Prodrive boss David Richards (left) insisted all summer that he was on the verge of concluding the deal, but uncertainty over the new Concorde Agreement was the final stumbling block.
The teams have been unable to agree terms with Bernie Ecclestone, and it looks increasingly likely that the current Concorde Agreement will be extended for a year. That contains no provisions for pure customer cars, making Prodrive’s position untenable.
In addition, Frank Williams is pursuing an action of his own as he believes a Prodrive customer team has no legal basis.
● Doubts remain over the future of Super Aguri and Scuderia Toro Rosso as Spyker’s separate arbitration case challenges their right to be considered as constructors. Neither team knows what package it will be entitled to run next season.