David Richards has rubbished suggestions that Prodrive's formula one foray for 2008 is on the verge of stalling. News about the Banbury-based outfit's entrance into the sport has gone quiet of late, but chairman Richards insisted this week that Prodrive is still on track to join the grid in March '08, having winning the FIA's coveted twelfth slot.
“I will be on the grid in Melbourne in 2008,” the 54-year-old told F1's official website, adding that a title sponsor is nearly signed. “Nobody should have any doubts about that.”
Richards said he wants to run Prodrive F1 "in my own way" but reinforced speculation that he is hoping to link up to become an existing squad's 'b' team. He therefore promised to be "frugal" and avoid building up the team until the end of 2007.
“That is probably unusual for formula one, but it's going to be my policy because in the first years we will not need a large resource and we can accommodate [it] within our own facilities,” the Briton explained.
Richards said talks with Asian car manufacturers outside of F1, possibly Hyundai, did not come to fruition. “I want to do this for another three years, I want to establish the team properly, I want to see it get off the ground – and then I want to stand back,” he said. “We have seen how long it took for Honda and Toyota and I am not a patient person. I'd rather have a short cut.”