David Richards, the founder of Prodrive and boss of Aston Martin, has said that he has his finger poised over the ‘go’ button to commit to an all-new F1 team for the 2010 season.
Of course, that’s if the proposed new budget cap regulations, enabling entrants to field two car teams for around £30m are finally set in stone by the FIA.
“Assuming the new rules are commercially viable and there is the potential to be fully competitive, then we are ready to press the go button,” said Richards, who previously had stints running both the Benetton and BAR-Honda teams before laying the foundations for his own Prodrive F1 operation in 2007.
On that occasion the project did not come to fruition, but Richards is confident that the groundwork he put in preparing for the new programme will pay dividends if he goes ahead this time. A final decision on this has yet to be taken on the project, which may or may not have its engine and/or chassis branded Aston Martin.
Richards joins Lola and the new Team USA, being set up by engineer Ken Anderson and former Autocar columnist Peter Windsor, as the third potential new F1 team to express interest in competing next season.Richards thoroughly approves of the budget-cap format and believes it will bring great added variety to the sport.
“The initial signs coming out of the FIA and FOM (Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management group which controls the sport’s commercial rights) are very attractive and represent the basis of a real revolution in the sport,” he said.
Richards added: “I think what we have seen in the first few races this season have been fantastic for F1. I am delighted for Brawn and Red Bull and it is great to see them beat the more established teams. It is just this prospect which is making F1 attractive again as a potential new entrant.”