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GP Week : Issue 46
> F1NEWS> LOLA and British F3 outfit Litespeed are the first two prospective 2010 F1 teams to publically announce their absolute intention to tender for a spot on next year’s grid. Lola was known to have been interested in making a tender for one of the three new spots on the F1 grid, and last week’s confirmation by way of a statement came just a day before the FOTA/FIA crunch meetings in London. “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 mula 1 teams ... er any new ‘budget cap’ F1 formula 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.” Litespeed’s name is a new one to enter the ring, and their proposal will see the F3 outfit link up with Mike Gascoyne’s MGI Ltd. Litespeed team boss Nino Judge said that regardless of ongoing negotiations over the issue of the budget cap, 2010 presented the best opportunity for new teams to enter F1. “We don’t yet know whether the cap team rules will be changed, and obviously we don’t know if our application will be accepted,”he said. “The cap may be dropped altogether. The point is that there is not much time for the project to get on to the 2010 grid and we have to take some risks in order to maximise time for preparation. “Potentially, there will never be a better time to enter the F1 arena. The FIA has so far not only been bold in introducing the budget cap, but has evidently thought out the long-term prospects of this globally captivating sport.”