Analysis: Precedents for BAR Appeal Case

Formula One's governing body will appeal on Wednesday against the stewards' decision not to penalise BAR's Jenson Button at the San Marino Grand Prix despite doubts about his car's weight

Analysis: Precedents for BAR Appeal Case

The hearing in Paris could strip Button of third place and expose BAR to heavy sanctions. FIA president Max Mosley has said any team found cheating can expect to be kicked out of the Championship.           

Precedents:

Jarno Trulli Plank Appeal, 2001

Jordan successfully overturned a stewards' decision to disqualify Italian Jarno Trulli from fourth place after his car's skid block was found to have excessive wear at the US Grand Prix.

The appeal was upheld because of procedural irregularities, with one of the three stewards failing to attend a post-race hearing with the team manager but still signing off the disqualification.

Ferrari Barge Board Dispute, 1999

Eddie Irvine and Michael Schumacher finished first and second for Ferrari at the Malaysian Grand Prix, taking the title down to the wire in Japan. They were then disqualified after their cars' aerodynamic turning vanes failed a post-race inspection. That would have handed the title to McLaren's Mika Hakkinen but the sanction was overturned on appeal with the FIA deciding its officials were wrong.

Toyota Banned for Turbo Breach, 1995

World rally champions Toyota were kicked out of the following year's championship for using an illegal device to circumvent the car's turbo restrictor.

Benetton Launch Control Software, 1994

Electronic driver aids were banned at the start of the season but a routine check of Michael Schumacher's Benetton found that it still had "launch control" software on board. The FIA allowed Benetton to go unpunished after "best evidence" suggested it had not been used.   

Benetton had argued that the automatic start system was used only during testing.

"Had the evidence proved they were using the system, the world motor sport council would have been invited to exclude them from the World Championship," the FIA said at the time.

Prost Underweight in San Marino, 1985

France's Alain Prost won the race for McLaren but was disqualified when his car was found to weigh less than 540 kg. The car, weighed four times, tipped the scales at between 536 and 537 kgs.

Tyrrell Use Water and Lead Shot as Ballast, 1984

Tyrrell developed a special device to pump water and lead shot into their cars at pitstops late in the race to raise weights to legal requirements. 

The team, at first wrongly accused of using illegal fuel and an auxiliary fuel tank, were excluded from that year's championship.

Williams and Brabham's 'Water-Cooled' Brakes, 1982

Williams and Brabham got around the rule that stated cars must weigh 580 kgs at the beginning and end of the race by installing "water-cooling" brake reservoirs. 

The water was dispersed during the race, allowing the cars to run light, and the tanks were topped up again afterwards to legal requirements.

The FIA Court of Appeal ruled that "the normal level of lubricant and coolant is that which is in the car when it crosses the finish line, therefore no topping up of any kind is permitted".    

Brazilian Nelson Piquet (Brabham) and Finland's Keke Rosberg (Williams) were disqualified from the Brazilian GP after finishing first and second respectively.

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Author Alan Baldwin
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