So... Formula One's latest worst-kept secret has at last been announced: David Richards' Prodrive company has been chosen ahead of ten other applications to enter the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
But what does that really mean? For, although Richards is an ambitious and successful man, and Prodrive is a successful and ambitious company, the three pillars upon which a new F1 team must be built are, as yet, apparently missing: a factory (although we've all seen Prodrive's plans for its Warwick site, and very nice they are, too), engines (although there's been talk of Cosworth) and sponsorship (no real rumours yet).
All one can therefore say with any certitude right now is that Prodrive may or may not field a team for 2008; 2008 is, after all, still some way off, and there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip.
Besides, just as interesting as the news of Richards's success was what the FIA told us and what it didn't. There was something rather coy about the way Max Mosley's men spun their '2008-gate' tale, I thought - it was almost as though they knew it was a duffer but had decided to chance their arm, inch by inch, ready to pull back the moment anyone spotted the story for what it was.