Almost immediately following Prodrive’s confirmation that it will not be seeking an entry onto the 2011 Formula 1 grid, racing car manufacturer Lola has announced that it too will not try to entry F1 in the 2011 season.

Lola had previously applied for a spot on the 2010 grid, but lost out to newcomers Lotus, Virgin Racing, HRT and USF1. USF1’s collapse has now reopened the application book once again for the final, vacant team berth.

The deadline to submit an entry application expired overnight.

Mastercard Lola

Lola’s last foray into F1 was in 1997 with its Mastercard-backed T97/30 (pictured), and the team collapsed under a pile of debts following the opening round in Australia after its pathetic performance where it failed by some margin to make the qualifying cut.

"A 2010 entry under the cost capped and performance balanced criteria was perfect for Lola," Lola owner Martin Birrane said, when explaining his company’s decision.

"We already have F1 standard facilities at our headquarters in Huntingdon. Sadly our well-developed 2010 F1 project, which included a significant wind tunnel programme, had to be frozen in June 2009.

"The recently announced applications for 2011 has left us with insufficient time to prepare for what would be a quite different programme."

Lola’s MD, Robin Brundle (brother of F1 commentator Martin), however, has still left the door open for a chassis supply arrangement with an existing team.

"Lola looks forward to strengthening its working partnerships with existing F1 Teams and the rich variety of customers throughout the Lola portfolio," he said.

Would any team be willing to consider this gamble?

[Original image via]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.