Button Surprised Only BAR Used Ploy

Jenson Button said on Thursday that he was surprised no other teams did the same as BAR by taking advantage of an apparent loophole in the engine regulations that saw his BAR outfit retire both cars controversially at the end of the Australian Grand Prix

Button Surprised Only BAR Used Ploy

Button said BAR had good reasons for taking advantage of the opportunity - now seemingly closed by the FIA - that allowed them to retire and therefore use new engines for this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Asked about the move, that was seen by many as contrary to the spirit of the new regulations that require engines to last for two races, Button said: "Well rules are rules aren't they?... I am surprised there weren't a few other teams that did the same thing. But I'm sure everyone has got their own reasons."

Fresh from a week's break in alcohol-free Brunei, Button said that BAR had decided to retire their cars on the final lap in order to be declared among the non-finishers and therefore be able to use new engines here in Sepang.

"The engine we are going to use here will be a better engine and more reliable," he said, hinting also that for those teams using the same engines as completed the race at Albert Park in Melbourne Sunday's race will be torrid examination.

In sweltering heat, with the track temperature measured at 50 degrees Celsius on Thursday morning, Button looked cool as he explained that the Malaysian race is the toughest of the year for cars and drivers.

"This is the toughest place of all," he said. "The heat is highest and it is the only place where you can feel it though your racing suit and where, on the straight, it is difficult to breathe because of the hot air running inside the helmet.

"It is important to have a strong and reliable engine and that is why I thought more teams would have gone for a switch if they had the chance to do it."

Button added that he expected to see his team would be more competitive on Sunday than they were in Australia where he finished 11th.

Button, who finished third in the World Championship behind the Ferrari drivers in 2004, said finishing 11th in Australia was "disappointing". "We have a lot of work to get back up to where we need to be," he said.

He said he thought he could be fighting for a place in the top six in Sunday's race thanks to some aerodynamic revisions being introduced to the cars and a more predictable weekend.

The FIA this week clarified its ruling on the two-race engine regulation by stating that, in future, it would distinguish between 'failing to finish' and 'choosing not to finish'.

The ruling body said that it would strive to ensure the purpose of the regulation is respected and that in future, in unclear circumstances, teams will be required to explain their decisions to the stewards of the meeting.

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