BAR Wanted to Protest against Rivals

BAR are adamant that they were not alone in running a fuel system that contravened Formula One's technical regulations - and were so convinced on that fact that they were ready to protest six other cars at the San Marino Grand Prix to prove it

BAR Wanted to Protest against Rivals

That revelation has come in documents released by the team in the wake of their two-race ban and disqualification from Imola for running a fuel system that the FIA claims allowed the team to run underweight.

Although BAR representatives openly cited at last week's FIA court hearing that they believed other teams were using similar systems, a written submission from BAR team manager Ron Meadows prior to the hearing goes further in revealing that the team would have lodged protests against their rivals at Imola if the race stewards had disqualified Button's car at the event.

Meadows' statement, which does not name the teams in question, said: "In the event that the Stewards Decision had gone against the team, I had pre-written six protest forms against six other cars in the event.

"I had done this because we believed that the fuel systems used by other teams were similar to ours, as confirmed by our suppliers ATL... and would still have contained fuel after being weighed.

"These other cars, we believed, should also have been fully drained and hoovered out in the same way as Lucky Strike BAR Honda.

"However we decided that it was not in anybody's interest to lodge any official protests because the Steward's decision had confirmed that our car complied with the 2005 technical regulations.

"I had no further contact with the Stewards and all cars were released from Parc Ferme at approximately 10.10pm."

In the end BAR did not lodge the protests because the race stewards accepted that Button's car had not run underweight during the race, even though that decision was subsequently challenged by the FIA.

By the time that the FIA appeal decision came, it was too late for BAR to lodge any protest against their rivals. There is now no way to prove whether other teams were running similar systems to BAR.

It is also not clear whether the teams that BAR believed were running similar fuel systems made modifications to their tanks prior to last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix.

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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