New F1 team
Richards to set up team to run in 2008 world championship
David Richards is set to return to Formula One in 2008 with a new Prodrive team. The former BAR and Benetton team boss’s pitch for the last available place on the line-up was successfully received by the FIA, while bids from ex-Minardi man Paul Stoddart, Eddie Jordan and Craig Pollock foundered. Well-developed schemes from Jean Alesi’s Direxiv concern and Carlin Motorsport were also among the casualties. “Prodrive has the best combination of financial backing, technical capability and motorsport experience,” said FIA president Max Mosley.
Richards and BAR split at the end of 2004 — the team’s best-ever year in F1. After his bid had been accepted, the motorsport mogul commented: “We now have less than two years to build a team and put two competitive cars on the starting grid.” Plans include the construction of a new facility in Warwickshire (below). There has been no mention yet of an engine supplier.
Prodrive’s involvement in F1 is partially dependent on the FIA’s forthcoming cost-saving regs although, with the breakaway Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association now officially quashed, there remain concerns at just how effective these measures will be.