Prodrive chairman David Richards explains that he was not willing to ‘risk everyone’s livelihood…on one throw of the dice’ by submitting another F1 entry bid for 2011, as the company now looks to focus on rallying and sportscars David Richards has explained his rationale behind not submitting a renewed bid for Prodrive to join the grand prix grid in F1 2011, insisting that he ‘wasn’t prepared to risk everyone’s livelihood… on one throw of the dice’.
Prodrive was arguably the most high-calibre and well-prepared of the F1 2010 hopefuls, but was unfathomably overlooked by the FIA – with the reason ostensibly being that the ultra-successful British engineering firm was unwilling to acquiesce to the governing body’s demands that all newcomers use Cosworth powerplants, instead favouring Mercedes-Benz units.
The conspiracy theorists, however, contend that Richards’ pull-out from a guaranteed grid slot on the eve of the 2008 campaign due to his customer car row with Williams had angered FIA President Max Mosley to such an extent that the Englishman was unwilling to even consider a second application two years later.
Either way, despite again possessing all the necessary credentials to join the top flight, there was no entry bid made by Prodrive for 2011 – and now Richards has revealed why.
“I wasn’t prepared to risk everyone’s livelihoods,” the former World Rally Championship-winning co-driver told British newspaper The Independent, alluding to Prodrive’s 579-strong workforce. “It was quite interesting to watch the reaction of everybody when I told them.
“The biggest fear people at Prodrive had was that we were going to risk everything on one throw of the dice by entering F1.”
The Banbury-based operation is now expected to concentrate its efforts on its endeavours in the WRC and sportscar racing.