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Discussion in 'F1' started by Modeler, Apr 22, 2009.
Lola is seriously considering a return to F1.
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British racing car manufacturer Lola is considering re-entering Formula 1 next year after confirming that it has committed to a full technical, operational and financial evaulation of the project.
The Huntingdon-based company has a long history of building F1 cars and last appeared with a short-lived and unsuccessful works team at the start of the 1997 season.
However, in the wake of the FIA announcing last month its plans for teams to be able to compete in F1 under a £30 million budget cap, Lola executive chairman Martin Birrane now believes the time is right to consider a return.
"The announcement that teams may opt for a prudent, financially responsible 'cost-capped' regime from 2010 has resulted in us deciding to fully evaluate the opportunity to develop a car to compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship," he said.
"Providing world-class engineering excellence, offering high quality solutions governed by a tightly controlled financial regime has been part of Lola's DNA over the last decade.
"The current necessity for F1 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."
Birrane, who bought Lola in 1997 after its F1 team collapsed, has made no secret of his ambition to take the company back into top level of international racing.
It has been heavily involved in single-seater production in the past decade, building chassis for a wide range of categories including the defunct Champ Car World Series, Formula 3, A1GP, F3000 and Formula Nippon.
The company also has recent experience of developing customer LMP1 and LMP2 machinery for top-line sportscar racing, with the Prodrive-run Lola Aston Martin project claiming a debut victory in the Barcelona Le Mans Series race earlier this month.
The facilities that Lola has built up for such activities in recent years means that it already has a base that could easily be adapted to develop an F1 car.
"Lola possesses the technical resources, capability and know-how to develop cars capable of competing at the very highest levels of international motor sport, including F1," said Birrane. "We are therefore embracing the WMSC's timely announcements and assessing a relevant programme for F1 with a view to making a formal entry in the coming weeks."
AUTOSPORT understands that Lola is in talks with Cosworth for a supply of V8 engines for next year, and that it could face competition for the available grid slots from a number of other prospective teams, including the USF1 project.
Lola has already appointed engineering personnel to evaluate the possibility of an F1 return, and already has an F1-standard windtunnel, computational fluid dynamics capability and a seven-post dynamic chassis rig in its factory.
I'm thinking that a Lola chassis plus Cosworth engine would very likely be the USF1 package. Hmm, Lola + Cosworth, anyone else remember CART?
It would be great to have a manufactor with so much past history to participate in F1 again.
Granted I know its a ton of money getting into F1 but do you think a lot of teams may consider it given the fact they are finding out that Ferrari and MB are actually mortal? I mean now there is a good possibility that you might be able to contend for a title and its being proven right now so if money wasnt an issue then why not? Obviously this should only apply to former teams being that they have some experience on what it takes.
Barely... But I do remember that combo in F1 in the 70s.
I'd love to see it - Lots of history there.
Does anyone know the maximum size of the grid allowed? I was at Surtees when they had pre-qualifying on Thursday's - IIRC 8 cars going for 2 (4?) spots - It was pretty dramatic stuff for the backmarkers just to qualify.
Lola and USF1: Hopefully they'll expand the grid to 24 cars again [Except Monaco - I seem to remember the "license" there restricts it to 20 cars.]
I don't see a problem with what has been done. A source linking back to the Autosport.com page has been provided and many people will go there to find the information. Honestly if there was any problem I would think it would be with Ferrarichat itself. Providing links draws people away from this site.
and remember Bernie said 26 cars for next year.
"What ever Lola wants, Lola gets".
Well if Renault drops out from the hints being given by Christian Horner at Red Bull, and lets say there is chance Force India may not be around, lets see how many are on the grid next season.
Martin is very serious and a terrific businessman. They've got the infrastructure. Lola is the most successful and prolific commercial competition car manufacturer, in spite of Eric Broadley's profligacy at the end.
There are seven post rigs in Mooresville, NC (Ohlins), in Alton, VA (VIPER) and in Indy (IIRC) in the US. They're a lot more common than they used to be.
Viper's rig will soon be eight post after an extensive refit this spring. Right across from my Studio...
The Tunnel in Mooresville is the equal of any in F1. Much of the CFD software in use to validate tunnels is built in the Research Triangle Park, NC.
The more, the merrier! Pre-qualifying? Bring it on! Perry McCarthy's book all over again for the backmarkers...
I would love for Lotus go get back in F-1 some day... that is a name that should be there that is not. Lola... has never really been succesfull in F-1... thru many attempts
This whole Lola project is based on the 30M pound budget cap option. I for one would like to see them make this work and be competative. It would be a huge changing of the gaurd financially. If it works expect to see existing sponsors cutting team budgets to 30M left and right. Driver salaries be damned and personal driver endorsments will boom.
Lola are not the only ones. Looks like Aston Martin are interested too: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article6150457.ece
Yes just been listening to Dave Richards and Sterling Moss on the radio.
Plus Cosworth have been talking to alot of teams about engine supply.
Yet again though IMO Max has set the budget cap to low, expect the teams to object and the goal posts be moved as per normal.
Or there was talk of a two tier system where IF the teams that want to spend more money can, but with stricter rules
I'll go out on a limb and suggest we may see a Lola customer chassis being used by Toro Rosso next year.
It'd solve the TR junior team problem and is very much in line with Martin's approach.
Otherwise a Penske - Lola alliance is the other image swirling about in my chrystal ball.
Now, that would be interesting! The Captain always jumps in if he thinks it's a good deal for the money and time spent...
At 30 mil we could start an F-Chat team
Dave, we wouldn't last 5 minutes, because the first thing I would do is connect the booted bony thing with five toes at the end of my leg, very sharply to the soft dangly collection of objects in Max's trousers...
Mind you, he might like it....
Funny thing is, there are quite some people around here who could pony up with that kind of money! I'd be in in a heartbeat, although at this very moment I could only bring in my questionable expertise, 0.86 Euro and two cookies (with dark chocolate, mmmh!)
And how much would you be willing to pay for that?
Team F-Chat. Most fun since Hesketh.
We've already got the hats.
+1 Those boys knew how to party! Just a shame we lost James..... [Related to the "commentators" thread, he and Murray were quite simply the absolute best in the booth IMHO.]
More than I care to admit!!
I'd love the racing side of it, but I couldn't deal with the politics, unless that was a skilled use of blunt objects.