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Teams must stay united despite spending row - McLaren

ESPNF1 Staff
October 12, 2011 « McLaren tells Hamilton it still supports him 100% | Sahara buys into 42.5% stake in Force India »
McLaren's Jonathan Neale: "There are those who would seek to divide the teams as we get ourselves ready for the next round of commercial negotiations" © Getty Images

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale is confident the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) will stick together despite recent ructions over the amount some teams are spending.

There has been speculation that Red Bull might have exceeded the spending limits outlined by the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA), which all the FOTA teams are signed up to in order to control costs. Team bosses are expected to meet in Korea to talk about the matter, but Neale said they all realised the most important thing was to remain united.

"I think there's always going to be a degree of tension between the teams," he said. "There has been some recent speculation about whether Red Bull are complying or not. But then none of us really know because we're not in there and we don't really understand how their business operates or how it's divided. Quite understandably, many of the teams mask the way in which their public accounts are provided so that you can't reverse engineer what's going on.

"Formula One has for decades been surrounded with a bit of mistrust and rumour with other teams. Allegations of, 'What are they doing?' 'Are they cheating on the circuit?' 'Have they invented some wonder device?' I think that's all part of the sport. In reality, the bigger prize is that Formula One does need to stick together."

Neale said it was of particular importance that the teams remain united now as negotiations for the next Concorde Agreement, which distributes F1's revenues between the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder, are just around the corner.

"There will inevitably be pressures," he added. "There are those who would seek to divide the teams as we get ourselves ready for the next round of commercial negotiations, and there will be tensions of course. Everybody wants the best for their team, but I think that this generation of professional team principals are more than equipped to see the bigger picture as well as fight their own team's quarter."