Richards' Prodrive prepared Subaru's rally cars
Subaru's withdrawal from the World Rally Championship could hasten team principal David Richards' return to F1.
Richards, chairman of Banbury-based firm Prodrive which prepares the Subaru cars, says he now has time to consider future projects.
"I can focus now on where we want to be long term. Who knows? That might be in Formula One," he told BBC Oxford.
Richards was axed by Honda when it took over BAR in 2004, and has not ruled out a takeover of the troubled F1 team.
Richards, a former Benetton boss, is thought to be one of the parties interested in taking over the Honda team - after the Japanese company pulled out of F1 because of financial reasons.
"I don't know about Honda," he said. "There's a new era beckoning in Formula One, with a lower cost base. No less competitive or exciting, but certainly (there is) an opportunity there."
When asked whether potential buyers might prefer to wait until cost cutting rules are fully implemented by F1, Richards replied: "That is going to be one of the challenges for Honda I suspect."
Prodrive runs the Subaru World Rally team and Aston Martin's Le Mans programmes as well as the Ford Performance Racing team in Australia.