’Prodrive’ to grab twelfth spot for 2008

UPDATE #3 This rumor is upgraded to 'fact' today – see Hot News page for story.

04/27/06 (GMM) On Friday morning, David Richards' 'Prodrive' will be announced as the winner of the twelfth and final spot in the F1 pitlane of 2008.

Including the existing eleven teams, the governing FIA received no less than twenty two entrants for the future world championship, including those involving Eddie Jordan, Paul Stoddart, Craig Pollock, Trevor Carlin – who had planned to buy Penske's English factory – and Jean Alesi.

But the latter ex-Ferrari driver's outfit, backed by 'Direxiv' and with use of McLaren's old Woking factory, indicated that it could still launch a team for the 2007 season.

''We have a factory and we still want to use it next year,'' Alesi told Britain's Autosport magazine.

The problem, though, is that entering for 2007 would still require the mandatory $48m new-team bond. Worse still, Alesi would not be guaranteed a spot for 2008.

News agency Reuters, meanwhile, asked FIA president Max Mosley whether the limit of twelve teams could be simply expanded to accommodate another one or two.

''If all the organizers and promoters want to make the investment (to enlarge facilities),'' he was quoted as saying, ''there's no fundamental reason why it shouldn't be

Also on Friday, 1996 world champion Damon Hill is likely to be named as Sir Jackie Stewart's successor for the presidency at British grand prix-promoting club the BRDC.

04/25/06 McLaren-Mercedes may have secured the final place on the F1 grid in 2008, for their much talked about and long rumored 'B' team, according to the latest gossip reported by crsdh.net.

Although it was thought that Prodrive had secured the final slot to enter the sport when the new Concorde Agreement comes into operation in two years time, it now appears that might not be the case.

04/20/06 (GMM) According to speculation, formula one's governing body, the FIA, has granted the twelfth spot in the 2008 pitlane to David Richards' 'Prodrive' team.

It earlier emerged that, among the twenty two prospective squads, unsuccessful applications were informed this week that they had not won the coveted final garage alongside existing teams.

But it now appears that – with Trevor Carlin, Paul Stoddart, Eddie Jordan and others also vying for the spot – ex-BAR principal Richards' bid, featuring a high-tech HQ in England, got the nod.

Official confirmation is due next week.

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