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Last Updated: Friday, 31 March 2006, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Prodrive among 22 F1 applicants
David Richards
Richards was team boss at BAR and Benetton
Prodrive, the company run by former BAR and Benetton team boss David Richards, is one of 22 teams to have applied for 12 places in Formula One in 2008.

Governing body the FIA said on Friday that it had invited all the applicants to a meeting in London on 10 April.

The FIA said it had would judge entries at its "absolute discretion".

Richards, whose company runs the Subaru team in the World Rally Championship, said: "F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport and a natural next step."

With the exception of teams who scored points in 2005, all applicants will have to satisfy the FIA that they have the funds and resources to be able to compete satisfactorily in F1.

The FIA did not reveal the names of the applicants, but the five teams that had threatened to start a rival series said on Monday that they had submitted entries.

And former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said earlier this week that he had also entered.

"The FIA will publish the list of cars and drivers accepted together with their race numbers on 28 April, 2006, having first notifed unsuccessful applicants," it said.

All applicants have agreed to pay a 300,000 euro (209,000) entry fee to the FIA by November 1, 2007, if successful.

Teams had a window from 23-31 March in which to submit an entry for the 2008 season, far earlier than normal.

Under current rules, teams must enter for a given season by November of the previous year.

But the contracts that bind teams to F1 run out at the end of the 2007 season and the FIA is taking the opportunity to fundamentally reorganise the sport and its rules.

FIA president Max Mosley, president of the sport's governing body the FIA, wants to give independent teams without support from car manufacturers more of a chance by limiting the budget needed to be competitive to around 57m a year.

Ferrari's budget, the biggest in F1, is reputed to be as much as 287m, with Toyota not far behind.

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