FIA Says BAR Cheated

Formula One's governing body accused BAR of cheating on Wednesday and asked an appeal court to throw the team out of the 2005 Championship

FIA Says BAR Cheated

"The team set out deliberately to gain an illegitimate and unfair advantage over other teams, an act prejudicial to the interests of the competition and to the interests of motor sports generally," the FIA said.

"The FIA asks the court to exclude the Lucky Strike BAR Honda team from the 2005 Formula One World Championship and to fine the team at least one million euros ($1.29 million)," the FIA said in a dossier of evidence presented to a Paris appeal court hearing.

BAR's Jenson Button finished third in the San Marino Grand Prix on April 24, scoring the Honda-powered team's first points of the year.

The FIA are appealing against a decision by race stewards, who spent six hours scrutinising Button's car after the race, to uphold the result despite suspicions BAR competed with an underweight car and may have used a hidden, secondary fuel tank.

BAR, who have denied any wrongdoing, asked the court to dismiss the FIA appeal.

Their lawyer David Pannick QC said that such a sanction "would be manifestly disproportionate as would be any exclusion from future events".

BAR technical director Geoff Willis restated the team's position that they had done nothing wrong.

"At no time would I allow anybody in the team to do anything illegal, we have a common culture of integrity and fairness," said the Briton.

The hearing continues. A verdict is expected on Thursday.

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Series Formula 1
Author Patrick Vignal
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