BAR intends to use new engines for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix despite the controversy stirred up by the team's tactical retirement on the last lap in Australia. As they were outside the points, BAR chose to send Jenson Button and Takuma...
BAR intends to use new engines for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix despite the controversy stirred up by the team's tactical retirement on the last lap in Australia. As they were outside the points, BAR chose to send Jenson Button and Takuma Sato to the pits so they could take advantage of the rule that says a driver fails to finish, he can have a new engine for the next race.
Since Melbourne, the FIA released a statement to clarify the engine rule and said a distinction would now be made between failing to finish a race and choosing not to finish. If a driver fails to finish without an obvious reason, the team will have to give a satisfactory explanation. BAR does not believe it will suffer any penalty this weekend for using new engines.
Michael Schumacher failed to finish in Melbourne due to an accident but reportedly he will use the same engine at Sepang. It's believed Ferrari made the choice in case it decides to introduce the F2005 in Bahrain. If Schumacher used a new engine this weekend he would have to use it in Bahrain as well, but the F2004M engine cannot be fitted to the F2005.
The Minardi drivers will start this weekend with fresh engines. Christijan Albers retired due to a gearbox probelm in Melbourne and while Patrick Friesacher reached the chequered flag, the team is willing to accept the grid demotion penalty for a new engine in order to give Friesacher a better chance.
"The only advantage of not finishing the race in Melbourne is that I can start the next race with a new engine," Albers told his website. "Patrick will also get a new engine from the team for the Malaysian Grand Prix, and although it'll cost him ten places on the grid, it'll at least increase his chances of finishing the race."
Meanwhile, Williams has tried to dampen the speculation that it and engine supplier BMW may part company. BMW has been linked with Sauber and Williams is rumoured to be talking to Toyota and Cosworth, but Frank Williams stated that his team and BMW have a long term agreement.
"There are plenty of reasons why these rumours are perpetuated," he said. "But the facts are quite simple from our perspective. BMW are our choice of engine supplier. We have a long-term alliance with BMW with which we are extremely happy."
Williams revealed in a pre-season press meeting that BMW would also supply engines to Sauber next year but the manufacturer and the Swiss team appeared surprised by the admission. Both are maintaining that no deal has been done -- at least, not yet.