Oct.28 (GMM) F1's cost-reducing programme has taken what might be regarded as a backwards step.
Known as the Resources Restriction Agreement (RRA), the deal this year includes a clause limiting each team to spending just EUR40 million on external services.The cap was set to reduce to 20 million in 2011, but Germany's Auto Motor und Sport said the teams have agreed to increase the limit next year to 30m.Moreover, team staff numbers were set to be capped at 350 people, reducing to 280 a year later.But the latter number has now been increased to 315, with the total agreement extended through 2017. The former agreement was set to expire in 2012."The good news is that the teams have agreed to extend the duration of the RRA," FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh confirmed."In doing that, there's been some adjustment, so it's been agreed in principle and everyone has signed up to that," added the McLaren boss."In some areas it's been tightened, in some areas it's been slackened," admitted the Briton.The existing agreement also limits things like staff numbers at grands prix, the use of wind tunnels and CFD, and track testing."I think there was a danger that we wouldn't be able to extend it (the agreement)," continued Whitmarsh. "I think all the teams took a sensible approach to come together and to agree to extend it for a long period of time."Ferrari, meanwhile, confirmed that the new agreement will be in place until 2017.