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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Prodrive chief 'may turn to F1'

Prodrive produced Subaru Rally Car
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.

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see also
Subaru pull out of world rallying
16 Dec 08 |  Rallying
Suzuki pull out of world rallying
15 Dec 08 |  Rallying
Button hopeful over Honda future
08 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Cost-cutting plan agreed for F1
10 Dec 08 |  Formula One
Global crisis ends Honda F1 era
05 Dec 08 |  Formula One
BAR boss Richards ousted in deal
19 Nov 04 |  Formula One
Prodrive give up on 2008 F1 entry
23 Nov 07 |  Formula One

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