David Richards just can't leave Formula One alone. In 2008 he will become a Grand Prix team boss for the third time in less than ten years. But the difference is this time it will be on his terms.
When the FIA announced last Friday that Prodrive had been granted the golden ticket of F1's 12th team slot, the motor racing world could barely raise a collective eyebrow. It was hardly a surprise.
In the run-up to the big announcement it became clear that as many as 11 bidders were jostling for the single place in the paddock, but of these only three were really taken seriously: Prodrive, the Japanese Direxiv group fronted by Jean Alesi, and ambitious F3 team boss Trevor Carlin. And of those, Prodrive had the edge.
As Max Mosley said last week, not only does this respected and experienced motorsport company have the understanding of what an F1 bid means and the financial clout to make it a reality, it also has a perfect frontman. Richards is a true all-rounder with an acute business acumen combined with an expansive sporting knowledge of what it takes to compete in rallying, sportscar racing, touring cars - and, most importantly, F1.