A few weeks ago, my colleague Adam Hay-Nicholls told me about an April Fools article he’d written, in which he’d reported that the legendary March name was set to make a return to F1. The team was, said the report, to be reborn under the sights of the FIA’s Max Mosley, Alan Donnely, Richard Woods, Charlie Whiting and Herbie Blash. Of course it wasn’t a serious article, but it made me chuckle and was intelligently thought through.
So imagine my surprise when, over the weekend, I see online that March had entered its name for F1 2010. Was Adam having another laugh? Surely this was taking it too far.
Until a few hours ago I had no actual confirmation the rumours were real. But yes, it’s true, March really has entered its name for an incredible return to F1 in 2010.
The March F1 Team entry has been submitted by Andrew Fitton, who took over March in the 1990s following a management buyout.
I spoke to March F1’s Team Principal Graham Manchester earlier today, and although he, as his fellow prospective F1 team bosses can’t say too much before June 12th, he was nevertheless clearly excited about the prospect of bringing the March name back to F1… as much for the entertainment he hopes to display in the sport as for the technical challenge it presents!
“Quite a bit going on already but there is much to do even if we do not receive a F1 entry. March will be moving forward in several directions. High technology engineering and product development is the core business model, but when we know more that involves F1 we will certainly keep you informed.
“We are not getting too excited about it, there is a lot of good competition with considerable experience to be honest and for so seemingly few places. However Formula One is about entertainment for the spectators and TV viewers as much as engineering so a good balance is essential we feel.
“We are keeping an open mind as to what may or may not happen and quite frankly the World being what it is at the moment, anything could, and possibly will happen, but as Max Mosley has apparently said ‘everyone, even independents need to start somewhere’ , Snr Ferrari did, Frank Williams did (with a March I might add) and possibly there may not be a better time for a while.
“F1 is in one of its ‘States of flux’ which happens now and again, we wait and see.”
March originally came into existence in 1969 as March Engineering, and made the audacious move in 1970 of entering F1, F2, F3, Can Am and Formula Ford as a provider of customer cars. Formed by Max Mosley, Alan Rees, Graham Coaker and Robin Herd, there is clearly a fairly high-profile name amongst its founding fathers who could have some influence in the March entry’s acceptance.
It’s certainly another good name to add to the list of prospective F1 teams for 2010, and given Graham’s insistence that March wants to entertain as much as it wants to compete, there seems a genuinely fresh approach amongst the new teams.
As with all the prospective new entrants: Campos, USF1, Prodrive, Litespeed, Lola and Superfund, I really do wish them well in their bids. New blood in F1 is just what the sport needs.