Prodrive will not be racing in Formula 1 next season thanks to the continuing controversy over customer cars. Prodrive were looking to enter F1 in 2008 using a McLaren chassis and engine however their plans were put on ice after Williams threatened them with legal action if they chose to run with their choice of chassis.
The argument stems from the Concorde agreement and whether customer cars are legal or not. The issue has been running for nearly a year with no signs of a resolution talks to frame a new Concorde agreement are still ongoing and however without an agreement between F1 teams, Prodrive have resigned themselves to not being able to race in F1 in 2008.
A statement from the team read, Prodrive has always been committed to competing in Formula One with what has become known as a ‘customer car. 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. It is, however, still our ambition to compete in Formula One and 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.”