'Hey, big spender' belted out Shirley Bassey, and the Welsh diva might just as well have been singing about Ferrari's F1 effort, with the Scuderia exposed as having allocated the greatest budget of any of the current teams to its 2011 title challenge - almost six times the total of the lowest spender, Hispania Racing (HRT).

A report conducted by Business Book GP and whose results have been published by Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo has revealed that whilst the average expenditure in the top flight has been reduced from EUR209 million per team in 2009 to EUR119 million in 2010 and EUR113 million in 2011 - in-line with the sport's ongoing cost-cutting drive - that figure is skewed somewhat by the arrival last year of newcomers Lotus, Virgin and HRT, all of whom are operating on low budgets, and the departure of big-spending manufacturers Toyota and BMW.

A major part in the dramatic progress has also been played, however, by the Resource Restriction Agreement (RRA) introduced by the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) - with the Martin Whitmarsh-led organisation keen to make further cuts.

Business Book GP states that defending double F1 World Champions Red Bull Racing as well as Sauber, Team Lotus and Virgin are all spending more in 2011 than they did in 2010, whilst Ferrari, McLaren-Mercedes and the reconstituted Lotus Renault GP have conversely slashed their outgoings, relying upon sponsors for more than half of their respective budgets. The Prancing Horse, however, still possesses the largest budget at EUR199 million, dwarfing the EUR34 million pot available to HRT.



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