FIA calls for BAR exclusion from championship

Today, May 4th, is the hearing of the FIA appeal against the stewards' decision not to take any action against BAR when Jenson Button's car was found to be underweight after the San Marino Grand Prix. The sport's governing body is calling for BAR...

Today, May 4th, is the hearing of the FIA appeal against the stewards' decision not to take any action against BAR when Jenson Button's car was found to be underweight after the San Marino Grand Prix. The sport's governing body is calling for BAR to be excluded from the 2005 championship should the team be found guilty of running underweight.

"The FIA asks the court to exclude the Lucky Strike BAR Honda team from the 2005 Formula One world championship and to fine the team at least one million euros ($1.29 million)," the FIA stated.

The stewards at Imola accepted whatever explanation was given by BAR as to why Button's car was underweight but the FIA then said it would appeal the decision. Speculation has it that BAR was using a hidden fuel tank and that the FIA was in possession of information that the stewards did not see at the time.

"The team set out deliberately to gain an illegitimate and unfair advantage over other teams, an act prejudicial to the interests of the competition and to the interests of motor sports generally," the FIA claimed.

BAR maintains that it has done nothing wrong and has asked the court to dismiss the appeal. The team said there was no secret fuel tank, only a collection device that the FIA was already aware of.

It seems this device was not drained before the car was initially weighed. Once it was drained the car was underweight. BAR claimed the rules don't state that the device has to drained.

The FIA disputed the argument and said: "In designing a fuel system calculated to deceive the scrutineers into thinking the car had been drained of fuel when in fact it had not, the team was guilty of fraudulent conduct."

A decision is expected on Thursday afternoon.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button