The FIA have thrown BAR out of the results for the San Marino Grand Prix and banned them from the next two rounds (Spain and Monaco) for running underweight in San Marino.
A secondary fuel tank within the main fuel tain was used to retain fuel during post-race scrutineering. When this was emptied, the BAR fell below the 600kg minimum weight limit. BAR argued that these secondary fuel tanks – also used by other teams – are not normally drained of fuel in post-race scrutineering.
BAR immediately announced their rejection the decision, their plans to appeal and to race in Spain under an injunction. F1 mastermind Bernie Ecclestone has warned them against following such a course and Max Mosley’s insistence that the two-race ban is “lenient” suggests that BAR could face being thrown out of the entire season should their appeal failure.
In their defence, BAR maintain their position that the stewards were aware of the inner fuel tank five weeks prior to the San Marino race, and that the means used to extract the fuel from the secondary tank was not one ordinarily used in post-race scrutineering.
Only one thing is certain in the meantime – by challenging the FIA in the civil court, BAR risk an even worse punishment.