BEFORE THE FIA INTERNATIONAL COURT OF APPEAL
Hearing of 4 May 2004
APPEAL BY FIA (Sport)
This appeal is against the decision of the Stewards of the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix (Race Document 49 attached hereto as Appendix A) whereby the Stewards decided to take no further action against Car No 3 following a report to them by the Technical Delegate (Race Document 47 attached hereto as Appendix B)
All Formula One World Championship races are run under the International Sporting Code (ISC), the 2005 Formula One Technical Regulations (FOTR) and the 2005 Formula One Sporting Regulations (FOSR).
During a race, a Formula One car together with its driver must never weigh less than 600kg (Article 2.6 FOTR and Article 4.1, FOTR). In order to ensure compliance, a driver is weighed when he steps out of the car after the race. The car is then drained of fuel and also weighed. The weights of the car and the driver are added together to ensure that they exceed 600kg in total (Article 77b FOSR).
This procedure has been followed since modern refuelling was introduced in 1994 and is well known, indeed absolutely familiar, to all competitors. If the weight of the car (plus driver) is less than 600kg, it is subject to exclusion (Article 77c FOSR).
The fuel is drained because it would otherwise be possible to run the car under the weight limit before the pit stops and then add enough fuel during the last pit stop to ensure that the car and driver together would weigh more than 600 kg when checked at the end of the race. Eliminating 10 kg of weight speeds the car up by about 3/10 of a second per lap on the average circuit.
In accordance with the above procedure, Car No 3 was drained of fuel after the San Marino Grand Prix. About 160g of fuel was recovered. The BAR representatives were asked if that was all the fuel in the car. They replied that it was. The car was then partially dismantled and the inside of its fuel tank examined using an endoscope. A further 8.92kg of fuel was found in a special compartment (Appendix C) and a further 2.46kg was removed from the floor of the main tank. When this fuel was removed, the car weighed 594.6kg, which is 5.4kg below the weight limit. Details are set out in the Technical Delegate's report (Appendix B), the statement of Jo Bauer, the FIA Formula One Technical Delegate (Appendix D) and the statement of Kris De Groot, a member of the FIA Formula One Technical Team (Appendix E).
All teams make repeated technical enquiries of the FIA under the terms of Article 2.4 FOTR. BAR made 14 such enquiries during 2004 and have made a further 4 during 2005 (Appendix F). At no time did BAR make an enquiry about their fuel system.
Grounds of Appeal
That the stewards of the meeting were mistaken in taking no further action in respect of Car No 3 (Appendix A) following the Technical Delegate's report (Appendix B) and oral representations from both the Technical Delegate and the Race Director, for the following reasons:
|1.||When completely drained of fuel the car (plus driver) weighed less than 600kg. The stewards should therefore have excluded the car from the results under Article 77c FOSR.|
|2.||The stewards were wrong to accept the team's claim that their car (plus driver) weighed more than 600kg at all times during the race, because it was not possible to prove the truth of this claim by means of physical inspection of hardware or materials, as required by Article 2.6 FOTR.|
|3.||Even if the car (plus driver) and fuel together never weighed less than 600kg during the race, the fuel needed to bring the weight of the car up to 600kg was being used as ballast. This is contrary to Article 4.2 FOTR, which requires that ballast must (i) be secured so that tools are necessary for its removal and (ii) be capable of being sealed in position. The fuel contained in the special compartment on Car No 3 did not meet either requirement.|
|4.||The design of the fuel system of Car No 3 was such as to enable the car to run below the weight limit at certain times during an Event and thus to participate when ineligible, contrary to Article 151(b) ISC.|
|5.||In failing voluntarily to reveal the design of their fuel system to the FIA, notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2.4 FOTR (and having regard to Articles 77b and 77c FOSR), the team demonstrated bad faith and an intention to secure the participation of a car known by them to be ineligible, contrary to Article 151(b) ISC.|
|6.||In designing a fuel system calculated to deceive the scrutineers into thinking the car had been drained of fuel when in fact it had not, the team was guilty of fraudulent conduct contrary to Article 151(c) ISC.|
|7.||By falsely claiming to the scrutineers at the San Marino Grand Prix that the car had no fuel left in it knowing that in truth the car still contained more than 11kg of fuel, the team was guilty of fraudulent conduct contrary to Article 151(c) ISC.|
|8.||In arranging their car's fuel system so that a significant quantity of fuel would remain after the car had been drained, making the car appear to be above the minimum weight when in fact it was below, the team set out to deceive the scrutineers and prevent them reporting the car to the stewards under Article 77c FOSR when the team well knew the car should be so reported. In this way 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 sport generally, contrary to Article 151(c) ISC.|
The FIA (Sport) 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.
|Appendix A:||The decision of the Stewards|
|Appendix B:||Technical Delegate's Report|
|Appendix C:||BAR Fuel System Schematic|
|Appendix D:||Report from Jo Bauer|
|Appendix E:||Report from Kris de Groot|
|Appendix F:||Communications with BAR|