However, the British official today confirmed that he has no plans whatsoever to sustain a Formula One operation for the 2011 season – nor for next few years – as his company is working flat out to prepare a competitive return in the World Rally Championship.
“Our current focus is on Prodrive's return to the World Rally Championship in 2011 and that alone takes significant resource to design and develop a totally new car,” said Richards, while hinting that the visible struggle experienced by the current newly-entrants in F1 shows just how difficult it is to start from scratch in the Great Circus.
“Taking on the challenge of starting a brand new Formula 1 team, finding the necessary funding and developing the car from scratch is a massive undertaking and not to be under estimated.”
“As expected, we've witnessed the financial and technical challenges that the new teams have faced this year in just getting to the grid, let alone being competitive and whilst I have enormous admiration for their efforts I don't believe this is an appropriate strategy for Prodrive or Aston Martin to adopt,” added Richards.
According to Autosport, Prodrive is in turn focusing all their efforts to becoming a contender in the WRC starting next year with the Mini brand. Following their success with Subaru in the past, the company will now try a different approach in the series on the S2000 rules – mandatory as of 2011 – but a definitive announcement on their future WRC plans is yet to be issued.