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BAR team handed two-race ban 05 May 2005

Third place finisher Jenson Button (GBR) BAR Honda 007 
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Race, Imola, Italy, 24 April 2005

BAR will be missing from the grid in Barcelona this weekend after being banned for two events by the International Court of Appeal. It follows Wednesday’s hearing in Paris over the legality of Jenson Button’s car at the previous round at Imola.

As well as being unable to compete in the Spanish or Monaco Grands Prix, BAR will lose the 10 points they scored in San Marino for Button’s third-place finish and Takuma Sato’s fifth-place result.

On top of the two-race exclusion, BAR were given a further, suspended six-month ban, starting after the Monaco race.

Following the finish at Imola, BAR were asked by stewards to drain Button’s car of fuel prior to it being weighed and it subsequently met the minimum 600kg weight limit. However, FIA officials then found a further quantity of fuel in a secondary compartment within the tank. Once this was drained the car failed the weigh-in.

At the time the stewards accepted BAR’s explanation that the compartment, the legality of which was not questioned, was a collector tank which always held a minimal amount of fuel necessary for the car to function, meaning it would have been above the minimum weight throughout the race.

However, the FIA contested the stewards’ decision and the International Court of Appeal decided that while it could not find BAR to have intentionally cheated, the team’s interpretation of the rules was flawed and they should have sought clarification.

The Court said that the only way the car could have met the 600kg requirement was by using fuel as ballast, which is not allowed under Formula One regulations.

It also stated that BAR’s fuel consumption data could not guarantee that the car complied with the rules at all times during the race, hence the team neglected their duty to satisfy the FIA technical delegate of its legality throughout the event.

The verdict leaves BAR without any 2005 world championship points and unable to score any more until the European Grand Prix on May 29.