Lola has confirmed that it does plan to submit an entry to the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship, following an evaluation process over the past few weeks.
On the eve of a crisis meeting at London's Heathrow Airport to discuss the future plans of current teams, Lola issued a statement on Thursday night confirming that it was pressing ahead with plans to join F1 next year.
"The original cap of £30 million, including engines, formed the basis of Lola's initial interest," said the statement. "The decision by the WMSC to revise the figure to £40 million plus engines, marketing, hospitality and driver fees led to a re-examination of the opportunity by Lola, culminating in today's confirmation that it will proceed with its Formula 1 project.
"The Lola Group believes that the WMSC decisions relating to cost-capping and the provision of revised technical regulations to facilitate the entry of new teams into Formula 1 should be embraced. This is not only prudent considering the backdrop of global economics but also taking into account the need for new teams to be able to compete credibly against long-established entrants."
And although plans for a two-tier championship have been slammed by leading teams such as Ferrari, Toyota and Renault, Lola thinks it is important to give budget-capped outfits the edge.
"It is imperative that performance breaks be afforded to new cost-capped entrants who will have a limited period in which to form teams, design and manufacture their cars.
"With these breaks Lola looks forward to competing with the existing teams who enjoy decades of experience. The question of speed differentials, safety and the spectacle of Formula 1 must also be considered.
"The Lola Group is forging ahead with its Formula 1 project with the objective of securing an entry into the 2010 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and in the expectation that the decisions of the WMSC will be respected in full."