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Prodrive rule out 2008 Formula One entry 23 Nov 2007

David Richards (GBR) CEO Prodrive.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 14, Belgian Grand Prix, Race Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 16 September 2007 (L to R): Martin Whitmarsh (GBR) McLaren Chief Executive Officer with David Richards (GBR) Prodrive CEO.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Race Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, Sunday, 15 April 2007

With just under four months to go before the start of next season, new entry Prodrive have admitted they will not be able to take up their place on the 2008 Formula One grid.

The Banbury-based company had hoped to use a chassis supplied by McLaren for their 2008 debut, but those plans were placed in doubt following a dispute over the legality of customer cars - and hence the team’s entry.

“Prodrive has always been committed to competing in Formula One with what has become known as a ‘customer car’,” said the statement issued on Friday. “It has been well known that our entry was made on this basis and that our entire business model was built upon this premise.

“Over the past 18 months we have put considerable effort into securing an agreement for the supply of cars and engines from McLaren and Mercedes, as well as financial backing from a partner new to the sport. It was therefore particularly disappointing to face a last-minute legal challenge to our entry, when our plans have been public knowledge for over a year.

“This legal challenge and continuing delays to the new ‘Concorde Agreement’ represent a fundamental change in circumstances, therefore we must now realistically rule out the possibility of Prodrive being on the grid in 2008.”

Despite ruling out an entry next season, Prodrive did stress that they have not abandoned their goal of competing in Formula One racing.

“We are hopeful that a new 'Concorde Agreement' between the FIA, FOA and the teams will provide clarity as to the terms on which this might be possible. When this new agreement is reached, we will be in a position to consider the extent to which we can adapt our plans for participation in the future.”

The company, led by former BAR team boss David Richards, beat 21 other entrants in April 2006 to become the 12th team on the Formula One grid for the 2008 season.