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GP Week : Issue 135
FOR McLaren, the Singapore Grand Prix weekend also marked the launch of McLaren Automotive Asia. Ron Dennis (pictured right), executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and the McLaren Group, hosted a press conference detailing the brand’s global expansion plans during which he went into detail on projected sales, profits, and markets. But the highlight of the session came when the former McLaren team principal announced plans to launch the McLaren brand in US motorsport. “You will see some form of McLaren presence in some form of motorsport in America,” Ron Dennis said, although he refused to be drawn on the details. Given the characteristics of the MP4-12C, speculation is rife that McLaren – who were once known for their CanAm successes – will field a team in the American Le Mans Series. IndyCar is also a possibility, although the series is currently struggling thanks to a series of long- running organisational battles and internecine warfare. F1 NEWS >> McLaren to enter US motorsport ONCE again, Red Bull find themselves at the centre of allegations that they violated the Resource Restriction Agreement in pursuit of last year’s titles. The claims – which arose following an independent audit of the teams’ spending carried out by Capgemini – have been hotly refuted by Red Bull. “It is false, absolutely false,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner told Press Association Sport. “ We agreed the scope, we worked within the scope. Job done. We’ve worked within the RRA, within the regulations that exist. It saved us money, saved the teams money. Unfortunately the consequence of success is people will throw stones.” Horner’s claims were backed up by Martin Whitmarsh in his role as chairman of the Formula One Teams’ Association. “ We are operating to the agreement that we signed last year,” Whitmarsh said in the Singapore paddock on Saturday. “ The nature of F1 is that there will be accusations, claims and concerns, but there is no evidence that anyone has shown me of any team in breach of RRA. “I think it is a bit like technical regulations, there will be finger-pointing, suspicion, paranoia – that is the nature, and the sometimes corrosive nature of this paddock, but I think the RRA has achieved an enormous amount. “ Without it, there are teams today that would not be here. It has clearly saved a lot of money in our sport. It is very evident certainly in this team when you hear conversations about efficiency, how you get the best out of the finite resource, people, wind-tunnel time, CFD, testing, the number of people we have at the track; those are all real and tangible.” But Sauber managing director Monisha Kaltenborn told reporters that Capgemini’s report of the teams’ spending revealed some issues that needed to be discussed by FOTA members. “ What Capgemini did was a benchmark study,” Kaltenborn explained. “ They we were looking at methodologies and how they are used. We were not in any way trying to verify the abiding of the RRA. That was not their mandate. It was to see how you interpret the rules and how you use them because the moment you write something in a contract it is always open to interpretation. That was the idea behind it. “ They have since submitted a report, and according to our rules it is now up to the chairman of FOTA to assess that and share it with us. As we understand there are one or two issues we shall discuss within FOTA.” Red Bull deny violating Resource Restriction Agreement For your daily dose of Formula 1 news ... 11