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Red Bull denies it broke spending agreements

ESPNF1 Staff
January 10, 2011 « Lotus to unveil car at first test | »
Christian Horner is confident his team competed within the rules in 2010 © Getty Images

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has denied claims his team flouted a cost-saving agreement on the way to winning both world championships in 2010.

On Christmas Eve, former FIA president Max Mosley suggested Red Bull spent more than was allowed under the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA); a document agreed as a compromise to a full-blown budget cap. On Monday, Italian reports claimed Red Bull's over-spend was €60 million, amid rumours Mercedes could be set to break the next agreement with its KERS development costs.

Red Bull denies the claims, but if they can be proven, under the terms of the RRA the team could face penalties further limiting the amount they are allowed to spend next season.

"We've worked in accordance with the RRA limits since they were introduced," Horner told BBC Sport. "Red Bull has committed its budgets wisely and it's obviously surprising that people will feel that way, but it's inevitable, I guess, when you're at the front and winning races."

He linked the suspicions about Red Bull's spending with earlier gripes about technical features on the title-winning RB6 car.

"We expect other teams to potentially challenge [whether we have over-spent] as they have done on front wings and ride heights and everything else in the course of last year," he said. "But we don't have any issue. Red Bull probably has the third or fourth biggest budget in F1. We spent prudently and have achieved great efficiency within the factory, and we have to top that in 2011."

There are reports that the situation is creating divisions within the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA), with speculation that HRT left the organisation as a result. Red Bull is currently refusing to sign a new RRA from 2011 through to 2017, but Horner says he is confident the issue will be agreed upon soon.

"The [agreement] needs to be sorted quite quickly because at the moment it is unclear what rules we are working to in 2011 in many respects, so it's important a solution is found and I think one will be found," he said.