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Ferrari and Red Bull resign from FOTA

ESPNF1 Staff
December 2, 2011 « Grosjean to test BMW DTM car | Sutil has 'more than one option' for 2012 »

Ferrari and Red Bull have confirmed they have resigned from the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) in the midst of a row over the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA).

The news follows a series of meetings among the teams over how to control spending in the sport fairly and transparently under the RRA. There had been a certain amount of mistrust between the teams over the RRA, leading Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali and Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to question the purpose of the organisation earlier this year.

On Friday a FOTA spokesperson told ESPNF1 that two teams had issued a resignation and shortly afterwards both Ferrari and Red Bull confirmed the news in separate announcements. The two teams will have to serve a two-month notice period before they leave the organisation and a FOTA spokesperson added that there would be a meeting of the teams "early next week, or as early as possible, and it will have to be seen where those discussions will bring them".

A short Red Bull statement read: "Red Bull Racing can confirm it has served notice to withdraw from FOTA (Formula One Teams Association). The team will remain committed to finding a solution regarding cost saving in Formula One."

Ferrari went into lengthlier detail in its resignation statement.

"It was a difficult decision and a great deal of thought went into it," read a Ferrari statement. "It was taken reluctantly after analysing the current situation and the stalemate when it came to debate on some issues that were at the core of why the association was formed, indeed with Ferrari and Luca di Montezemolo as the main instigator and promoter of ideas. It's not by chance that the President of the Maranello company held that same position and job title within FOTA up to the end of 2009.

"Some of the major achievements of the association during these years, also worked out in conjunction with the FIA, centred around cost reduction, which was of significant benefit to everyone, the big teams and the small ones. Ferrari was on the front line in this area, even before the birth of FOTA and it intends to continue down this route to ensure the sustainability of the sport in the long term. Now however, it is necessary to find some new impetus to move it along because FOTA's drive has run its course, despite the excellent work of current president Martin Whitmarsh in trying to reach agreement between the various positions for the common good.

"Ferrari will continue to work with the other teams to make the current RRA, Resource Restriction Agreement, aimed at controlling costs, more effective and efficient, modifying it to make it more stringent in key areas such as aerodynamics, to rebalance some aspects such as testing and to expand it to areas currently not covered such as engines.

"Formula One, like the rest of the world in fact, is currently going through a delicate period. Ferrari wants to work with all parties for the future of a sport that expresses the highest level of motor sport technology. We must return to a situation where Formula One is really a test bed for advanced technological research, the results of which can be transferred to Granturismo cars. In addition, we must not forget that this sport must become more user friendly and more accessible to the general public and furthermore, it cannot be the only professional sport where it is practically impossible to do any training: the number of days of testing must be increased so that the drivers, especially the young ones who lack experience and the teams, can be adequately prepared, as well as providing more opportunities for them to come into contact with spectators and sponsors."