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BAR Undecided on Engine for Sepang

The BAR-Honda team may not, after all, use fresh engines for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the second round of the Championship

Under new regulations, engines for this year's championship are mandated to last two complete events, so most team will be re-using the same engines that powered their cars in Australia for the Malaysian round.

But BAR, whose cars were running out of the points in Australia, decided to exploit a loophole in the regulations and purposely retired their cars on the last lap of the race, thus allowing the team the option to fit fresh engines in Malaysia.

The team's British driver Jenson Button had posted his fastest lap of the race, a time of 1:26.260 on lap 55 just prior to the team's decision to retire the car.

The team have denied, however, that a definite decision regarding the fresh engines has been taken, claiming that the decision rests with the results of an upcoming testing session at Jerez, Spain.

A spokesperson also denied that there were any politics involved in the decision and said that it was purely a technical matter.

"The possibility of fitting new engines to the car in Malaysia remains an option, but we will not decide until closer to the race weekend," said the spokesperson.

Honda Racing Development's president Shoichi Tanaka, however, told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday that they had already made the decision to use fresh engines.

"We've always been against the introduction of this new rule, because we are convinced the FIA can't have true control over the engines, like knowing if a team changed the engine because it's broken or whether it's just for tactical reasons," Tanaka said.

"Since the regulation allows to change it between races with no penalty if you don't complete the race, we've decided to change the engines on both cars. I am certain that many will follow our example, so in the future many teams out of the points will prefer to withdraw the cars in order to show up at the new race with fresh engines."

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