Mercedes GP has dismissed suggestions that it is on the verge of breaking Formula 1's Resource Restriction Agreement, ahead of talks in Korea this weekend to end unease about spending limits.
The Formula One Teams' Association has scheduled a meeting for Sunday morning in Korea to talk through a range of issues, and on the agenda are discussions about the RRA. There has been growing unease in recent weeks about elements of the RRA, including where Mercedes GP's ramp-up of investment will put it, plus ongoing issues surrounding Red Bull Racing after a recent benchmark study of RRA terminology by Dutch consultants Capgemini.
With Ferrari in particular having urged FOTA talks to get a grip on the matter, any unease is likely to be brought out into the open this weekend. However, Mercedes-Benz motorsports boss Norbert Haug (ABOVE) strongly refuted any suggestion his team considering breaking the RRA, and says it fully supports the concept.
"We are well inside the limit, absolutely. No doubt," he said. "We were not at the limit before and we still are taking it very seriously.
"We don't know if all people are acting in the same way, but we are 100 percent RRA and, especially with Ross [Brawn], we were one of the prime movers for that concept, and really are living with it. This is the basis for Mercedes-Benz for the future. We want to have decent limits and not spending money unnecessarily."
Despite insisting that Mercedes GP was committed to the RRA, he did suggest that not all teams were being totally in line with the spending limits, although he did not elaborate on which teams he felt may be outside.
"I do not think that the interpretation is the same in each and every place, but it is mostly the same," he said. "Having said that, I am not a specialist because I am just not running the operation. I am not involved and I absolutely can stress that we are well inside the limits, and we will be.
"If people are questioning it, they should question us. If they are questioning the hiring of two engineers, are they inside or outside [the RRA]? They are inside..."
When asked if he felt it important all the unease about the RRA needed properly clarifying in this weekend's meeting, Haug said: "This is an ongoing business. They have I think a very constructive approach and I do not want to go into detail, which is just probably not on the same page. But most of the teams are."
Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali said in Japan last weekend that he believed it vital the RRA was enforced strongly, because he felt it important that spending power did not become a key factor in delivering on-track performance
"I think that it is a subject that is quite sensitive. It is a subject where we need to make a final clarification because, at the end of the day, the RRA was very important to keep the level of expenditure as low as possible," he said. "It should not become a performance differentiator so that you are able to do something that some others are not able to do. But, in that respect, I am not saying anything on top of what I said. We need to clarify this up until the end.
"This is a matter based on a lot of trust between teams and we need to get out from these doubts. We will have a meeting, I think, in Korea where we need to close this point because it is really a very crucial factor within all the teams that have to work together."