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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 March 2007, 10:13 GMT
Aston Martin owner rules out F1
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

New Aston Martin non-executive chairman David Richards
Richards says Prodrive's F1 programme and Aston are separate
New Aston Martin boss David Richards has ruled out the company entering Formula One for the foreseeable future.

Richards, Aston Martin's new co-owner and chairman, also runs the Prodrive motorsport company that is entering F1 in 2008 with its own team.

But he told BBC Sport that Prodrive had already decided the best approach for F1 was to buy cars from another team.

And he added: "There is a long way to go before an involvement in F1 could benefit the Aston Martin brand."

There had been widespread speculation that Aston Martin would consider an F1 programme when it was revealed Richards was leading the consortium that was buying the company.

Richards, who has previously run the Benetton and BAR-Honda F1 teams, will be co-owner and chairman of the company after it was sold by US car giant Ford to a consortium including Kuwaiti investors.

You would also have to look at the damage it could do to go into F1 and get it wrong

David Richards
Aston Martin chairman
And Prodrive runs Aston Martin's programme in sportscar racing.

But Richards said: "Obviously you always review things as you go along, but there are two factors against [an Aston Martin F1 programme] at the moment.

"Firstly, we consider at Prodrive that our route to be competitive in F1 is to partner an existing team - frankly, I don't have the patience to set up a team from scratch and flog around at the back of the grid for five years.

"And as far as Aston Martin is concerned, it is a product that is still in its infancy. It is still developing as a brand.

"There is a great range of cars, but there is a long way to go before it is in a place where an involvement in F1 could benefit the brand.

606: DEBATE

"Today we sell all the cars we produce. We need a proper cross-section of products and only then can we start to look at what we can do to extend the reach of the brand further.

"You would also have to look at the damage it could do to go into F1 and get it wrong.

"There are other issues for Aston Martin without worrying about something as dramatic as Formula One motor racing."

SEE ALSO
Aston Martin sold to UK-led group
12 Mar 07 |  Business


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