The RRA was set up by the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) as a self-managed way of containing costs within the sport, which governs the size of teams’ headcounts, development costs and other matters.
Members of FOTA have been working behind the scenes to redraft a new RRA to implement for 2011-17, with the general framework for the new RRA having been agreed to during a meeting of team bosses at the Singapore Grand Prix.
But it seems that agreement over some of the finer points have hit a snag, with some of the disputed areas believe to relate to how teams should allocate their funding and what procedures should be put in place (specifically review periods and penalties) for teams found to have breached the RRA.
It is also believed that the chief opponent of the amendments to the RRA have been Red Bull Racing themselves.
The stalled negotiations have prompted former FIA President Max Mosley to hint that the only reason Red Bull might be pushing back on these changes could be as a result of it overspending en route to securing its maiden Drivers’ and Constructors’ championships in 2010.
“Red Bull asked for an exception. If that’s true, that can only mean they spent more than they were allowed, and now they’re asking for the [other] teams’ approval. I am interested to know how their opponents are going to react,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
But Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner has strongly rejected such suggestions, and instead claims that the team’s opposition to the RRA changes was it wanting
to become a socialist state the rules to be fair for all teams on the grid.
“Contrary to speculation, we completely adhered to the RRA within 2010 – and Red Bull Racing had only perhaps the third or fourth-largest budget in Formula 1. We’ve achieved great efficiency in reducing the headcount versus our external spend,” he retorted to AUTOSPORT.
“We are all in favour of containing costs moving forward, and the RRA is a good way of achieving that – as long as it is consistent, fair, equitable and transparent across all the activities of all the teams. We don’t want to turn [F1] into a power-train dictated championship.”
FOTA has scheduled more meetings to achieve a consensus to implement the new RRA before the 2011 season gets underway.
So is the latest issue a case of Red Bull actually overspending or Mosley wanting to get himself some press attention? How may other teams may have breached the RRA during 2010? There might be more to all of this in the coming weeks…