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Berger wins in Brazil

Gerhard Berger won the Brazilian Grand Prix five hours after the race ended. The Austrian Ferrari driver had finished third on the road but fuel samples taken from Michael Schumacher's Benetton and David Coulthard's Williams which finished ahead of him were both found to be illegal and the cars were both excluded. During qualifying for the race the same cars were also found to have used illegal fuel and the teams each fined $30,000. Elf, which supplies both teams, claims that the fuel is as it should be.

Last winter the FIA introduced a new system for controlling the oil companies in F1 and insisted that the fuel suppliers submit their fuel to the FIA in advance. This is then chemically "finger-printed" to establish exactly what is in included in the petrol. The FIA then accepts or rejects the specification of the fuel and the petrol companies must then use that same fuel. The fuel "finger-prints" are then used to compare fuel samples taken at races, making the process quick and easier and thus avoid having to wait for lengthy analyses of the fuels in FIA laboratories.

In order to help achieve this aim the governing body has built a mobile laboratory to check fuel finger-prints but this will only be used at European races.

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