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Page last updated at 09:01 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 10:01 UK

Lola move closer to F1 comeback

British car manufacturer Lola says it is considering a return to Formula 1 in 2010.
Lola were a consistent presence in the Formula One paddock from the 1960s

Lola is pressing ahead with its plans to enter a team in Formula 1 next season although it is dependent on the introduction of cost-cutting measures.

The racing car constructor, which last raced in 1997, is to submit an application to take part in F1 in 2010.

"The budget cap is prudent, considering the backdrop of global economics," a statement read on the Lola website.

"It also takes into account the need for new teams to be able to compete credibly against established entrants."

F1 teams are set to meet Max Mosley, president of the motorsport's governing body FIA, on Friday to discuss the new proposals for a voluntary £40m budget cap introduced next season.

The cap will give teams operating within it greater technical freedom, but some believe a two-tier championship will be created.


Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and Renault are opposed to the idea and have all threatened to quit the sport if Mosley's plan goes ahead.

A raft of measures agreed by the teams and the sport's governing body the FIA in December 2008 should cut the budgets of F1 teams by at least 30% for the 2010 season.

Big savings will be made on engine costs, in-season testing, staff numbers and sharing knowledge on tyres and fuel.

And Lola executive chairman Martin Birrane said: "The announcement that F1 teams may opt for a financially responsible, prudent cost-capped regime from 2010 led us to fully evaluate the opportunity."

Birrane, who bought the Lola group in 1997, said the changes had created the perfect chance for Lola to return to motorsport's blue-riband event.

"The current necessity for Formula 1 to adopt a responsible approach in times of economic uncertainty has created the ideal conditions for us to consider developing a car for the world championship," added the Irish businessman.

Lola has spent the past decade building chassis for a wide range of single-seater categories including the Formula 3, A1GP, Formula 3000 and Formula Nippon championships.

The company already has an F1-standard wind tunnel, computational fluid dynamics capability and a seven-post dynamic chassis rig in its factory.

"Lola possesses the technical resources, capability and know-how to develop cars capable of competing at the very highest levels of international motorsport, including Formula 1," said Birrane.

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see also
F1 bosses to meet over budget row
15 May 09 |  Formula 1
Quit threat is no bluff - Ferrari
14 May 09 |  Formula 1
Renault join F1 pull-out threat
13 May 09 |  Formula 1
Ferrari issue F1 quit ultimatum
12 May 09 |  Formula 1
Toyota threaten pull-out from F1
10 May 09 |  Formula 1
F1 unveils cost-cutting blueprint
12 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
The battle to save Formula One
12 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Cost-cutting plan agreed for F1
10 Dec 08 |  Formula 1
Mosley welcomes F1 cost cuts
12 Dec 08 |  Motorsport

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