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Warwickshire-based Prodrive has announced that it will not be applying for an entry to next season's Formula 1 World Championship, instead electing to focus on a return to the World Rally scene. The outfit run by David Richards took the late Colin McRae to WRC title glory in the mid 1990s.
Having lost out in the battle to be accepted by F1 governing body the FIA last year, with Campos (now Hispania Racing), Manor (now Virgin Racing) and US F1 (now defunct) being received instead, Richards explained on Thursday that his company will now centre its efforts away from F1.
"Our current focus is on Prodrive's return to the World Rally Championship for 2011 and that alone takes significant resources to design and develop a totally new car," the former Benetton and B.A.R Team Principal explained via a Thursday statement.
"Taking on the challenge of starting a brand new Formula 1 team - finding necessary funding and developing a car from scratch - is a massive undertaking and is not to be under estimated."
Richards added that, 'as expected', this year's new teams have encountered a series of struggles - both financially and in terms of being ready to compete - and described the situation. "Whilst I have enormous admiration for their efforts, I do not believe that this is an appropriate strategy for Prodrive or Aston Martin to adopt," he continued.
"I have always made it very clear that the timing for a Prodrive entry would be judged on two criteria: being competitive and it being a financially viable proposition; today, if we were to adopt the strategy of starting a new team, I don't believe it would be possible to meet these two conditions."
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