The FIA recently invited possible entrants for the 2011 Formula 1 season to register their interest, but the recruitment drive wasn’t too successful. The deadline is up, and apart from former GP2 team Durango, no other party is fighting for the 13th slot vacated by USF1. Lola and Prodrive, who both applied for a place in this year’s grid but were unsuccessful, declined the offer.
Race car manufacturer Lola feels there is not enough time to be ready for the start of the season. “A 2010 entry under the cost capped and performance balanced criteria was perfect for Lola. We already have F1 standard facilities at our headquarters in Huntingdon. Sadly our well-developed 2010 F1 project, which included a significant wind tunnel programme, had to be frozen in June 2009. The recently announced applications for 2011 has left us with insufficient time to prepare for what would be a quite different programme,” owner Martin Birrane told Autosport.
Prodrive on the other hand, doesn’t believe it can be competitive in F1 and will instead focus on a return to the World Rally Championship next year.
“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.
“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,” boss David Richards said.