David Richards has confirmed that he has lodged an entry under the Prodrive banner with the FIA for the 2010 world championship, as revealed by Autocar.
Richards' decision to enter F1 has been prompted by F1's move towards a budget cap, although the level and timeframe for this is still being disputed by the established teams.
Although the official release confirming the news did not mention Aston Martin, it is expected that the team will rebrand as Aston Martin from 2012, following an agreement reached with F1 rights holder Bernie Ecclestone.
“We are very appreciative of the support we have been given in putting together our entry, not least by both the FIA and FOM. With the help of Dar Capital, in raising the finance, coupled with our understanding of the latest proposals to assist new teams, we now feel the conditions are right to formally request the FIA for an entry,” said Richards, chairman of Prodrive.
“The level of next year’s cost cap has risen substantially since we originally considered entering. However everyone appears committed to major reductions in future years and when one takes into account the transition proposals for new teams we are confident that we now have the opportunity to be both commercially viable and competitive. As we have said all along, we don’t want to be in Formula One just to make up the numbers.”
Prodrive's entry comes 18 months after its last attempt to enter F1 was scuppered by the ban on customer chassis; the team having negotiated a deal to source cars from McLaren.
The link with McLaren is expected to remain in the form of a technical partnership, although details of the engine package are still yet to be revealed.
Finance for the project comes from Middle-East-based finance, logistics and property company Dar International and one other Middle Eastern partner.
The team is the third new entry to formally apply for one of the three places currently available on the 2010 grid, with Campos Meta1 and Team US F1 having already submitted their entries.
Lola is also expected to submit an entry before the end of today's cut-off application date, which is set by the sport's governing body, the FIA.