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FIA President explains Prodrive decision 28 Apr 2006

Max Mosley (GBR) FIA President.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Practice Day, Imola, Italy, 21 April 2006

Following Friday’s announcement that David Richard’s Prodrive group has been chosen as the 12th entry to the 2008 world championship, FIA President Max Mosley revealed the reasoning behind the choice…

Q: Why was Prodrive chosen as the 12th team?
Max Mosley:
Prodrive has the best combination of financial backing, technical capability and motor sport experience and is well known to the FIA through its participation in the World Rally Championship. Also, Prodrive’s chief executive, David Richards, has experience as a Formula One team principal.

Q: What was the process the FIA went through to reach this decision?
MM:
After the World Motor Sport Council decided that entries for the 2008 Championship would open on 24 March 2006 and close on 31 March 2006 we informed all of the current teams as well as other organisations we knew to be interested. We also issued a press release to inform anyone else who might want to tender an entry.

We soon received applications from the 11 current Formula One teams as well as another 11 teams. Where necessary, we wrote to teams to ask for further information about their financial position and experience in running motor sport operations. Once we had gathered all the information we informed the World Council of the list of potential entries. A fax vote ensued and Prodrive was chosen as the 12th team.

The World Council concurred that there was no reason not to accept the current teams as they are already in the championship and have confirmed their ability to compete effectively. Prodrive was chosen mainly because of its financial position, capabilities and experience.

Q: Were you surprised by how many teams wanted to enter the championship?
MM:
I was delighted but not entirely surprised. Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sport and thanks to the new regulations brought in for 2008 it is potentially open to more teams. What pleased me most was the high calibre of entries received. With this kind of demand Formula One has a bright future.

Q: Why do you think there was such a significant response?
MM:
Hopefully because of the new rules we’ve introduced to the sport. The 2008 Sporting Regulations have reduced the cost of competing and should improve the sporting spectacle at the same time. It makes for a very attractive prospect.

Q: Will there be room for more teams in future or is 12 the maximum?
MM:
The limit of 12 teams was imposed for safety reasons and circuit facilities, pit garages, etc, are designed for this number. It would be very difficult to enlarge the facilities and we would also have to look very carefully at the safety issue. The number is unlikely to increase.

Q: What have you said to the teams that didn’t make it this time?
MM:
We informed all the teams that were not successful, although we did not tell them which teams were. We asked them to keep in touch in case a vacancy occurred.