Lola says it is keeping a close eye on any opportunity to enter Formula 1 in the future, even though its plans to move into grand prix racing this year had to be abandoned.
The Huntingdon, UK-based racing car manufacturer lodged an entry to join the F1 grid in 2010, but it lost out to US F1, Manor Grand Prix and Campos Meta. Although missing out this time, Lola's managing director Robin Brundle said at the AUTOSPORT International Show that a move to F1 in the future could not be totally ruled out.
"We're still very excited about the opportunity of Formula 1 and remain in a state of readiness," he said. "Clearly 2010 would be a challenge – we simply wouldn't be ready for the start of 2010. The rules at the present time indicate that you have to be there at the start of the year. If there is a change in that, we remain in a state of readiness."
Brundle admitted that the decision to abandon plans for a budget cap had made things more difficult for a company like Lola, but believes further cost restrictions planned from 2011 were encouraging.
"For us, what would be more appealing would be when the cost caps, as they continue to be described, come into play from 2011, with the number of employees and the expenditure value," he said. "I think that arena probably suits us better than the open arena in expenditure that is out there in 2010. So we are in a state of readiness. We have evident capacity, and sure, we would love to do that program but it has to be at the right time for us.
"We know what the new teams are going through and their first iterations of car, it will be interesting to see how they perform when they arrive at circuit. There is a lot of blood, sweat and tears going into those guys at the moment – and I have sympathy with them. I admire them."
He added: "It's a very exciting time but we have to understand that technically the other teams you're racing against in the open field again have decades of experience and hundreds of millions of dollars invested in their programs. So, to be competitive with that, is going to be very difficult for any new team."