Ray Mallock Ltd (RML) has revealed that its failure to submit an entry into Formula 1's new 'low-cost', budget-capped era in 2010 was prompted by the ongoing 'uncertainty' over the exact details regarding the cap – but it has refused to rule out graduation to the top flight at a later stage.
RML is currently fielding three Chevrolet Lacettis under the Racing Silverline banner for Jason Plato, Mat Jackson and James Nash in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC), as well as running an LMP2 class Lola Mazda in both the Le Mans 24 Hours and Le Mans Series and the factory Chevrolet outfit in the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), where Alain Menu, Nicola Larini and Rob Huff have all reached the top step of the rostrum.
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, indeed, the Wellingborough-based concern has achieved a large number of successes and title triumphs in touring car and sportscar circles – memorably including the BTCC drivers', teams' and manufacturers' triple crown with Nissan and Laurent Aïello in 1999 – and arguably boasts one of the strongest pedigrees and track records of any of the hopefuls to have expressed an interest in filling one of the three available slots on next year's grand prix grid. Ultimately, however, it was not to be – for now at least.
'During the last ten weeks, RML Group have evaluated the exciting opportunity offered by the FIA to potential new Formula 1 entrants, and prepared an application to join the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2010,' read an official statement.
'Our analysis indicated that the technical and financial regulations as published by the FIA on 30 April were extremely well-suited to our organisation, whose attributes have attracted many motor manufacturers to partner with RML over the past 25 years and yielded numerous international and national sportscar, touring car and rally championships. In this process, we also enjoyed significant interest from prospective partners attracted by the FIA's proposed changes.
'However, the recent uncertainty regarding the details of the application of the budget cap and participation of the other teams and manufacturers has meant that we were not in a position to lodge an entry prior to the 29 May deadline. Nevertheless, RML remain open to participating in Formula 1 in the future and will monitor developments closely. In the meantime, we wish to express our appreciation for the efforts of the FIA and Formula One Management to create the conditions for a new approach to grand prix racing and secure the future of the sport.'