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BAR would Welcome Rules Clarification

BAR have said they would welcome a move to change Formula One's technical regulations in a bid to ensure that there is no future doubt over whether teams are allowed to use fuel as ballast

The team's defence team argued strongly in their case at the FIA Appeal Court Hearing in Paris on Wednesday that F1's rules did not categorically state that teams cannot use fuel as ballast.

The FIA's argument, however, is that teams have known since 1994 that a car's weight at the end of a race will be taken without any fuel on board.

This edict came at a meeting of think tank the Technical Working Group on June 20, 1994 following the disqualification of Christian Fittipaldi from his sixth place finish for being underweight at the end of the Canadian Grand Prix.

Speaking to reporters after the hearing, BAR boss Nick Fry said he believed that there was a grey area in the regulations about whether teams could use fuel as ballast.

"The rules are clear to us," he said. "Our lawyer pointed out very clearly that in other FIA championships, like sports cars and touring car racing, there is a very clear definition of what you have to do at the end of a race and what a pump out of the total fuel system is.

"Those rules don't exist in F1 and I really don't think quoting a meeting that took place 10 years ago with no modifications of the regulations subsequently is adequate grounds for dispute."

BAR have strongly denied any suggestions that they deliberately cheated by using fuel as ballast, and have clearly hinted that their interpretation of the regulations is that they are allowed to do so.

One possible outcome from the BAR case is that the FIA's rules may be re-written to state categorically that teams cannot use fuel as ballast.

Fry added: "If the regulations were clarified after this, then it is something we would applaud because in other categories it is better defined than in F1 - which is somewhat ironic since this is the pinnacle of the sport."

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