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FIA request 2005 exclusion for BAR 04 May 2005

Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Practice, Imola, Italy, 22 April 2005

The FIA have asked for BAR to be thrown out of the 2005 Formula One World Championship after accusing the team of cheating at the recent San Marino Grand Prix.

At a hearing in Paris on Wednesday, the FIA claimed that BAR had deliberately set out to gain an “illegitimate and unfair advantage” over their rivals. They then asked the International Court of appeal to exclude the team and fine them at least one million euros.

The appeal concerns Jenson Button’s third place finish at Imola and the fact that his car was found to underweight once drained of fuel following the race. BAR maintain that the car was legal throughout the event, a claim that the San Marino race stewards agreed with.

The focus of the hearing was a small, secondary fuel tank on Button’s car, which the FIA admitted they were aware of. When this was emptied the car fell under the minimum 600 kilogram weight limit.

However, BAR technical director Geoffrey Willis told the Court that the additional tank was a collector tank which had to hold a minimum of six litres of fuel at all times in order for the car to function.

After the two-and-a-half hour hearing, BAR CEO Nick Fry said he was convinced the team had successfully made their case and that he expected the Court to find in their favour. A decision is expected on Thursday afternoon.