F1 'distrust' threatens cost-curbing agreement

By on Friday, October 14, 2011

The inter-team agreement to curb costs in formula one is at a crossroads as the latest rumours sweep across the paddock.

First it was Red Bull, but now Mercedes is the subject of the latest speculation about teams breaking the gentleman's agreement known as the FOTA-sponsored resource restriction agreement (RRA).

The Mercedes rumours have gained strength since Mercedes signed Geoff Willis and Aldo Costa to join Mercedes' existing technical bosses Ross Brawn and Bob Bell.

"Each of the teams and team principals continue to assure FOTA that they are abiding by the limitations that are contained within the RRA," formula one teams association chairman Martin Whitmarsh said in Korea on Friday.

Red Bull has made clear it will only agree to a new agreement - one that "doesn't involve commenting or politicking" - if the other teams don't power speculation about breaches.

"Red Bull does favour the RRA being around, but in a way that's clear, tangible, policeable and encompasses all of what formula one is rather than cherry-picking elements of it," added team boss Christian Horner.

Mercedes figures including Brawn and Norbert Haug have this weekend denied the bolstering Brackley based team is stepping over the line in adhering to the RRA.

"I think for us, we're respecting the RRA but I think it's at a crossroads," said team boss Brawn.

"I think it's at a crossroads because it's now starting to bite those three or four teams who have to control their resource to comply.

"The teams have to come together to find a solution ... or else we will have a continuation of the problems that we're having at the moment, all the comments, the rumour, the innuendo, the distrust."

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