HOPES that Huntingdon would be will be at the heart of Formula One, the pinnacle of international motor racing, next year are still alive – just. St Peter s Road chassis manufacturer Lola had hoped to be one of three new teams in next year s spectacular,

HOPES that Huntingdon would be will be at the heart of Formula One, the pinnacle of international motor racing, next year are still alive - just.

St Peter's Road chassis manufacturer Lola had hoped to be one of three new teams in next year's spectacular, but the sport's controlling body, the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) announced today (Friday) that its application had failed, at least for the moment.

However, if talks on some conditional bids from established teams come to nothing in the next week, the Huntingdon sports-car maker could still be in F1 in 2010.

Lola's application to take part at the highest level followed the FIA's decision to encourage new blood into the sport by capping expenditure at £40million, though that does not include drivers' pay or, for 2010, engines. Eight other teams also applied, and three were preferred to Lola's bid.

The company said today: "The Lola Group acknowledges receipt of the communication from the FIA announcing the preliminary entry list for the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship. The Lola F1 team is not currently listed as an entrant but will continue to remain in discussion with the FIA as a potential new entry until the extended deadline of June 19."

Lola, which is owned by former racing driver Martin Birrane, is currently at Le Mans, where it has high hopes of displacing the dominant Peugeot and Audi diesels in this weekend's 24 Hours endurance race.