Redditch, Friday: In the wake of new cost-cutting schemes unveiled for Formula One in 2010, including a budget cap of around £45 million, car parts retailer Halfords have unveiled their plans to compete in the sport from next year.
Halfords are already the title sponsor of BTCC’s Team Dynamics, but ambitious CEO David Wild has expressed his plans to expand the group’s motorsports operations further, by actually building and racing a Formula One car themselves.
“A new age of Formula One is upon us,” an overly-dramatic spokesman for the company told reporters, near Halfords’ fetid Worcestershire HQ. “With costs coming down and the sport set to re-embrace smaller teams, it is time for Halfords to jump on the bandwagon and expand its global brand by participating in F1 from 2010 onwards.
“Freedom in the technical regulations and controlled spending means that it is, for the first time, feasible for us to cobble together a racing car from bits we’ve got lying around the warehouse. And, unlike Super Aguri who tried basically the same thing a year or two ago, we’ve got the backing of a big company and the hope of being a little bit competitive.”
Recent cost cuts among the bigger F1 teams have already seen Halfords take on a greater role in the sport, with McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh using one of their stores in Woking during the winter to buy up large amounts of chrome. “That really helped us shift a lot of old stock,” the spokesman continued, “as who in their right mind wants to plaster their car with chrome these days? It’s a relief for us that Martin Whitmarsh clearly isn’t.”
Rumours that the cost-saving frenzy in Formula One has also prompted car servicers Kwik-Fit to apply for the role of official F1 tyre supplier in 2010 have yet to be confirmed and are apparently unrelated to the Halfords news.