Ross Brawn has hit back at suggestions that Formula 1 teams will face an expensive development race if his Mercedes team's DRS system remains legal and they have to copy it.
A number of Brawn's rivals have suggested that it would cost a fortune for them to incorporate a DRS-activated F-duct system onto their cars – at a time when teams are facing budget concerns. But Brawn rejects such claims, and reckons that as well as the DRS system being cheap to create, he says major teams will not face any more expenditure because they are already limited in spending due to F1's Resource Restriction Agreement.
"The system is actually very cheap," explained Brawn. "It is a very simple cheap system, but not so easy to implement if you haven't integrated it into your car. This is perhaps where some of the frustration of some of our opponents [is coming from].
"People talk about the huge cost, but there isn't really a huge cost. You all know that there are a couple of carbon pipes running down the car, and the man on the street will tell you that they cost a few thousands – they are not millions.
"The benefit we have gained is because we have thought about it and designed it into our car, and that is not so easy for people who have not go it – and that is why some of the opposition is so fierce. It is the recognition that it is quite a difficult thing to do if you haven't designed it from the beginning. That is the nature of F1."
Speaking about the RRA situation, he said: "When people make statements about having to spend lots of money copying it, it is intriguing how they can spend all that money because under the RRA agreement I would feel that most of the top teams are working to their budget. So where does this extra money come from in having to copy this system? They have got to balance that against all the other developments that they are intending to do – and if it is money well spent or are they better off spending that money on the things they were always planning to do?
"Fitting that system retrospectively may not be good value because of the lap time it gives in the limited period that you use DRS, compared to the costs involved because they will have to wire it into their cars."
Although rival teams are awaiting further clarification from the FIA about the legality of the system, Brawn says he remains convinced the governing body will stick to its stance that the passive system is allowed.
"We are confident the system is legal," he declared. "As far back as 2010, in working group meetings, the FIA was stating that it considered such a system to be legal, because they were questioned on it as a matter of record.
"We will obviously be extremely disappointed once someone took a different view, but I think the FIA has been fairly consistent in their position, so we have faith that they will maintain that consistency."