Will Prodrive make it into the 2008 season?

Williams have made an enquiry over Prodrive’s eligibility to enter Formula 1 in 2008 as the 12th team in the sport. A hearing has been scheduled for 24-25 October in London and it is here that the FIA will decide on the future of Prodrive.

An FIA statement explained, “Further to the receipt of a letter from the Williams F1 team regarding the legality of the entry of the Prodrive F1 in the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the President of the FIA has made a referral to the FIA’s International Court of Appeal (ICA) under Article 1 of the ICA Rules of Procedure.”

It is believed that the hearing is linked to the ongoing customer car saga which sees Spyker vs Toro Rosso and Super Aguri in court next week for an arbitration hearing.

Prodrive themselves were picked from a number of potential teams to take the final spot in the Formula 1 team line-up for the 2008 season. From the start they have said that they intend to run a customer car chassis, with McLaren being the likely supplier.

The team’s entry has yet to finalised – the deal has been held up thanks to the ongoing customer car dispute over the Concorde Agreement. Customer cars are currently prohibited, however it was believed that under 2008 regulations, they would be permitted. However some teams, most notable Spyker and Williams, have raised concerns over the implications of allowing teams to buy the chassis of other teams easily, rather than designing their own chassis and car.

The major sticking point is over constructors’ championship points, and ultimately advertising revenues – should a team get constructors’ points if they have just bought the chassis off a rival team and not done any design themselves?