Recently, there has been a distinct lack of announcements surrounding Prodrive’s entry into Formula 1. Many rumours have sprung up around the company to compensate.
The latest rumour is that they may partner with Nisaan, which is considering entering Formula 1 despite being a sister brand to World champions Renault. Alain Prost is a constant fixture in all the rumours. France’s newspaper the ‘Journal du Dimanche’ suugests that Prost has been approached to head up the entry despite his team failings a few years ago.
Prodrive have always maintained that it will be on the grid in the 2008 season. They have however admitted that they are talking to many potential partners, although they will not disclose who. A spokesman for the company said “I can only restate that we do not necessarily intend to approach F1 in a conventional way and that our strategy remains to partner another team. This is a logical choice as it delivers significant benefits for both parties, at all levels. We are continuing discussions with potential partners but, as before, we are not in a position to divulge the exact nature of these discussions, nor the parties involved. Also, as before, there have been no discussions whatsoever about Prodrive selling its F1 entry.”
Another manufacturer linked with Prodive is Aston Martin. Aston Martin and Prodrive are already linked through Aston Martin Racing ALMS and GTR programs. Rumours of a partnership have strengthened following Ford’s decision to put Aston Martin brand up for sale in an attempt to halt it’s financial decline. However, Aston Martin have little Formula 1 experience – they have only ever started 5 Grands Prix and these were back in the ’59-’60 season. However the rumour mill believes it would be a good badge to put on Cosworth’s V8 engines which, as of the 2007 season, are not running in Formula 1.
With Korea hosting a race in 2010, Hyundai are also contemplating entering Formula 1. Could they be the new partners of Prodrive?