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  Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
Phoenix's F1 bid cast into flames
Heinz-Harald Frentzen in the Prost car last year
Heinz-Harald Frentzen drove for Prost last year
A bid to enter a new team into Formula One in place of the bankrupt Prost outfit appears finally to be at an end.

Phoenix Finance wanted to compete in the world championship having bought the assets of the defunct Prost team.

They were barred by motorsport's world governing body, the FIA, but then took their argument to the High Court in London.

On Thursday the High Court backed the FIA's ruling that entry into the championship cannot be bought and sold.

Phoenix Finance may appeal against the court's decision.

Alain Prost, owner of the bankrupt Prost F1 team
Prost was unable to save his team

But it appears they have lost in their long quest to prove they own Prost's right to compete.

"Phoenix Finance Ltd has been made aware of and is disappointed at the judgment given in the High Court," said Charles Nickerson, managing director of the firm.

"It is obviously much too early to say what the ultimate outcome of the matter will be," he added.

"We shall be considering the future in the light of the extensive judgement and what it means for us as a company and a potential competitor in the FIA Formula One World Championship."

The Prost team, owned by Alain Prost, went out of business before the start of the 2002 season and the assets were purchased for 2.5m by Phoenix.

The new owners turned up to the first Grand Prix of the year in Malaysia along with two 2001-spec Prost chassis and team personnel.

But they were not allowed to race by the FIA, who refused on Thursday to make further comment in the aftermath of the High Court judgment.

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

Reaction and analysis

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
See also:

15 Mar 02 | Formula One
13 Mar 02 | Formula One
01 Mar 02 | Formula One
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