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Top teams' bid to increase staff limit rejected in FOTA

Formula 1's leading outfits have failed in a push to try and expand staff numbers for next season, after a proposal to change the terms of the Resource Restriction Agreement was blocked by smaller outfits

In a bid to cap costs in the sport, teams have currently been operating under a limit of 47 operational staff members at event - which is 45 for the car and a further two to work on KERS.

Discussions took place about the possibility of this increasing to 55 for next season, to help ease some of the burden being placed on the current team members.

However, amid concerns from F1's smaller teams that this would simply serve to drive up costs and hand a further advantage to the bigger outfits, the amendment has been rejected.

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who is chairman of FOTA, confirmed to AUTOSPORT that the change had not gone through: "The big teams tried to, but it's been blocked. It was blocked within FOTA.

"There are 45 operational staff and that increased to 47 for KERS. And then there were some other exceptions and people said 'well why don't we just make it cleaner, take out the exceptions and make it 55?' I was comfortable with it, but I think psychologically for the small teams they felt 'no'.

"I think we should respect that. When we had 60, 70, or 80 people here, when we first proposed 45 most were saying 'we can't possibly do it', but in truth we're fine."

F1 teams are still debating the future of the RRA, with a meeting likely to take place at the Brazilian Grand Prix to discuss a fresh proposal put forward by Red Bull Racing that could end disagreements about the matter.

Teams had hoped to get together in Abu Dhabi this weekend, but that meeting was postponed after problems in finding a suitable time when team principals could get together.

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