BAR defend retirement decision
BAR team boss Nick Fry defended his team's decision to retire both drivers on the final lap of the race, in order to replace their engines before the Malaysian Grand Prix.

BAR exploited a loophole in Formula One's new engine rules which state that drivers must make their engines last for two whole race weekends rather than just one. Any unscheduled replacement brings a loss of 10-places on the starting grid.

However, a driver can replace an engine without sanction if he retires from a race. BAR decided to take advantage of this option by retiring their cars near the end of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"At the end of the race obviously we chose to bring both cars into the pit lane," said Fry, who recognised BAR were off the pace. "Our reading of the rules is if you fail to finish, it then gives you the opportunity to change your engine because you've effectively taken the penalty in the race you failed to finish.

"Obviously our hope was that we were going to finish in the points and so this wouldn't have been necessary," added Fry. "But as we weren't in the points, we might as well take advantage of the rules as we see them, and give the drivers a new engine for next time round.

"So we've taken advantage of that, and if we choose to do so, fit a new engine for Malaysia. That's our strategy and hopefully with a bit of work from [technical director] Geoff [Willis] on the aerodynamics, which is where we think the problems are, and a new engine, then hopefully we can do a bit better next time."

Fry said the first Grand Prix of the season had been disappointing for him. "At the moment we are off the pace," he said. "And we need to do something about that but clearly we've got work to do.

"We simply seem to be unable to generate heat in the tyres and unfortunately it wasn't until the last few laps of the race where we were getting sufficient heat in the tyres to go quickly.

"Jenson was among the fastest in the last few laps but by then it was all too late."
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Series Formula 1
Author Alan Baldwin
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