Honda hurt by BAR ban

Honda, co-owner of BAR, is upset by the two-race ban imposed on the team after an appeal court ruled that the team did not comply with FIA regulations at Imola. Jenson Button's car was judged to be underweight in post-race scrutineering, and he...

Honda, co-owner of BAR, is upset by the two-race ban imposed on the team after an appeal court ruled that the team did not comply with FIA regulations at Imola. Jenson Button's car was judged to be underweight in post-race scrutineering, and he and teammate Takuma Sato were stripped of their points and the team banned from competing in Spain and the next event in Monaco.

"We feel the FIA ruling is too severe," said Honda's Tatsuya Iida, according to Reuters. "We gave them proof we didn't break the rules. To be accused of cheating was hurtful."

BAR argued that the FIA knew about its fuel system -- the team was allegedly using a hidden fuel tank -- and denied that it had been running underweight during the Imola race. The race stewards took no action but the FIA appealed the decision. BAR want the regulations to be clarified as there's too much room for misinterpretation.

"FIA knew we had a new device in the gasoline tank. Without it the car won't move. We feel we didn't break any rules and the stewards agreed so it's very sad," said Iida. "We have kept to the rules. The regulations are very ambiguous, there should be a clear definition. We don't understand the punishment."

The ban came at a time when BAR was beginning to raise its game: after failing to get its cars to the finish line in the first three races, BAR was back on form at Imola with Button third and Sato fifth, but subsequently lost those points. The team has to wait until the European GP at the end of May before it can rejoin the action.

BAR initially intended to challenge the penalty imposed after the appeal hearing but said in Spain that after considering its options, there was nothing that could be done to allow the team to race at Barcelona. It also decided not to pursue further action to be permitted to race in Monaco, saying it was not in the team's, or F1's, best interests.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Jenson Button