IN a riposte to threats by Ferrari, Renault and other established teams to pull out of Formula One if cost-capping is introduced, Huntingdon racing car maker Lola has confirmed that it will press ahead with a bid to be on the grid for the 2010 season. Sin

IN a riposte to threats by Ferrari, Renault and other established teams to pull out of Formula One if cost-capping is introduced, Huntingdon racing car maker Lola has confirmed that it will press ahead with a bid to be on the grid for the 2010 season.

Since the FIA World Motorsport Council (WMSC) announced the details of a cost-capping scheme on April 29, Lola has been evaluating the technical regulations.

But Ferrari, Toyota, Red Bull and Renault have all threatened to quit the sport if the plan by motorsport boss Max Mosley goes ahead. There is a meeting at Heathrow today (Friday) at which some compromise is expected to be reached.

"The original cap of £30 million, including engines, formed the basis of Lola's initial interest," said company spokesman Sam Smith. "The decision by the WMSC to 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 One project," he added on Friday.

"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 One should be embraced. This is prudent, not only 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."

Lola believes it is imperative that performance breaks are afforded to new cost-capped entrants, who will have a limited period in which to form teams, design and manufacture their cars.

"With these breaks Lola looks forward to competing with the existing teams who enjoy decades of experience. The question of speed differentials, safety and the spectacle of Formula One must also be considered," Mr Smith said.

"The Lola Group is forging ahead with its Formula One project with the objective of securing an entry into the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship and in the expectation that the decisions of the WMSC will be respected in full.