Mike Stevens | May 19, 2009

Prodrive boss David Richards has declared his company will now consider its options in the wake of the Formula One budget cap dispute, saying he is not prepared to commit to the sport amid the current uncertainty.

Richards was among the first team owners to express his interest in entering the category next year, enticed by the proposed £40 million cap which aims to reward teams for innovation and ingenuity.

But with half the current grid threatening to withdraw from F1 in protest of the 2010 regulations, Richards said Prodrive won’t tender an entry for next year until the current battle between the FIA and FOTA reaches a resolution.

He told GP Week: “It is important for us and our partners that there is stability in the sport with broad alignment on the future direction of Formula 1 and this will be a critical issue in our decision making process as to whether or not to make an entry.”

The former BAR team boss has long touted Prodrive aspirations as a potential Formula One outfit, winning the 12th and final license to compete during the 2008 season before the customer car row scuppered his plans.

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Richards was intent on entering last year’s championship with a McLaren chassis, only to withdraw five months out from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix after Williams challenged its use of customer cars to the FIA International Court of Appeal.

The setback seemingly ended Richards’ hopes of returning to the F1 scene at the helm of his own team, but the prospects of a budget capped Formula revived his interests.

“I have always made clear that we are very serious about entering Formula 1 in 2010, providing that it is commercially viable and there is the potential to be fully competitive,” he said.

“On the commercial side, we would want a situation where the sort of budget you would need to be competitive would be sensible, especially given the challenging economic conditions we face today.”

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