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Ecclestone: Prodrive 2008 entry unlikely

NEWS STORY
19/10/2007

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has admitted that it is likely that Prodrive will not be on the grid next season, leaving F1 to continue with eleven teams.

"I think they have decided to give up, haven't they?" he told reporters at Interlagos, ahead of this weekend's 2007 season finale. "They were all excited about coming in, it's a pity for them," he added.

There has been speculation regarding the British team's entry for much of the year, with a number of deadlines passing without any official announcement regarding its plans. Then doubts arose over the link with McLaren, which was due to supply a customer package, with both sides finally admitting that talks had broken down.

The final nail in Prodrive's coffin came with Williams issuing a legal challenge to the entire concept of customer cars, claiming that such a move would be a threat to its own existence as an independent constructor.

Following the collapse in talks with McLaren, Prodrive claimed to be talking to at least two other teams, however, the clock was already ticking.

Asked today whether customer cars should be allowed, Ecclestone admitted: "Probably not.

"The teams say they are all constructors spending, for example, about half a billion a year and the Prodrive budget was about 75 million," he added.

He admitted that he would like to see another manufacturer enter F1 in the near future.

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