BAR chief executive Nick Fry has denied that the team broke any rules after Jenson Button's car was found to be underweight in post-race scrutineering at Imola. The car complied with the minimum weight regulations initially but the stewards...
BAR chief executive Nick Fry has denied that the team broke any rules after Jenson Button's car was found to be underweight in post-race scrutineering at Imola. The car complied with the minimum weight regulations initially but the stewards decided to drain it of fuel and weigh it again, then it was underweight.
The stewards heard an explanation from BAR and decided no further action needed to be taken. However, the FIA then announced it intended to appeal the decision and the hearing is scheduled to take place on May 4th. BAR said it was surprised by the FIA's intention and Fry protested the team's innocence.
"This team is owned by two blue-chip international corporations with huge integrity," he told Reuters. "Does anyone really think that we would deliberately do anything against the rules? We've hidden nothing."
Speculation suggests that BAR is using a secret fuel tank but Fry dismissed that, saying the car's fuel system only has a collecting device to run the pump. "The FIA has seen the device and inspected it several times before," he said. "They are fully familiar with the system."
It's unknown exactly what explanation was given to the stewards regarding the weight of Button's car, but BAR said in a statement "the team was able to demonstrate, using its own data and data gathered by the investigating stewards, that the car was above minimum weight at all times during the race".
It seems strange that the FIA is contesting the decision of its own stewards but some say the sport's governing body has additional information. Questions have been asked as to why the stewards decided to drain the BAR and reweigh it. Did they already have suspicions or were they prompted by someone else?
It's not unknown for cars to be drained and reweighed as part of post-race procedures and it could simply be that it was a normal decision. But it's been suggested that the uneasy politics in F1 at the moment could have given rise to a campaign against BAR.
Fry is confident that BAR will be proved right and said if anyone was working against the team for some reason, they would not be distracted by it. "Given the political situation in the sport we are concerned about everything," he commented.
"We are hanging on to the basic belief that right will prevail at the end. At no time was the car light and I don't think that we've done anything wrong. This is Formula One, the pinnacle of motor racing and it is very competitive. We're all aware of that, we're all big boys."
"If anyone is trying to destabilise us, that will not work -- we're bigger than that," he added. "We are not allowing this to divert us from our mission to win races."