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Red Bull seeks spending limits despite FOTA split

Updated: December 10, 2011, 12:49


Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel, center, of Germany, his teammate Mark Webber, right, of Australia and McLaren Formula One driver Jenson Button, left, of Britain stand on the podium while holding their trophies as an official speaks during the 2011 FIA Gala awards ceremony night in Gurgaon, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of New Delhi, India, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. This is the first time India is hosting the awards gala, which has over the years been traditionally held in the French Principality of Monaco. (AP Photo/Parivartan Sharma, Pool)

MILTON KEYNES, England(AP) Red Bull stressed its commitment to preventing a financial "arms race'' in Formula One despite the reigning constructors' champion quitting the teams' association in a dispute over cost reductions.

Created in 2008 to help unify the series, the Formula One Teams Association has also seen Ferrari and Sauber leave in the last week over the failure to agree on a strategy to curb expenditure.

"FOTA did a lot of good things when it was first created, saving costs and so on, but in recent months it's been less effective and more fractured in the way we should move forward and what it should be responsible for,'' Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said on Saturday. "For the time being, we're happy to be in control of our own destiny.''

The resource restriction agreement (RRA) aimed to return expenditure to levels that prevailed in F1 in the early 1990s. Overspending was a sticking point between the FIA and the teams when racing's governing body tried to introduce measures that would have effectively created a spending cap, and in 2009 nearly led to a breakaway series being formed.

"We agree with budget controls, we don't want to get into an arms race like that which happened with the manufacturers a few years ago, and at Red Bull we wouldn't be able to,'' chief technical officer Adrian Newey said alongside Horner at a briefing near the team's headquarters in England. "If we can concentrate on the things that are tangible, like the wind tunnel restrictions, testing restrictions, then that will be fine.''

But the team of reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel is unsure that it is competing on a level playing field.

"With some of the teams that are subsidiaries of automative companies it becomes difficult to know how their resources are split,'' Newey said. "It's when you don't have this transparency that all the sniping starts.''

Last season, FOTA represented 11 of the 12 teams on the F1 grid, with Hispania Racing the only one not in the organization. But with Red Bull having to serve a two-month notice period with FOTA, it could still return to the umbrella organization before the 2012 season starts in March.

"We have a meeting with some of the other FOTA members on Monday to talk about cost control,'' Horner said. "Nothing's ever set in stone but for the time being we feel it's right to step out of FOTA.''

Horner and Newey were speaking as thousands of F1 fans turned out in freezing conditions to see Vettel and teammate Mark Webber drive their F1 cars through the streets of Milton Keynes, where the team is based.

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