MARCH 1, 1999
BAR's new split personality
BRITISH AMERICAN RACING has unveiled the livery it intends to use this year in the wake of its battle with the FIA over running two cars in different color schemes. The result is that one side of the car is painted in Lucky Strike colors and the other side is in 555 livery.
The financial structure of the team has meant that BAR has been forced to run both brands on both cars. This is bad news for Arrows which was hoping to convince British American Tobacco to give it some money. It will be interesting to see how BAT brand managers find the new arrangement. "We believe it provides value for our sponsors," says team boss Craig Pollock.
It will also be interesting to see what the FIA thinks of the arrangement, particularly as it recently pointed out that it does not want teams to run more than one tobacco brand. The new livery could be seen as another challenge to FIA authority and that could spell more bad news for the team. "We can't stop them doing it under our rules," says FIA boss Max Mosley, "but we do not think it is the ideal situation."
But if the FIA cannot stop the team, governments can and there have been suggestions that at some races the team could fall foul of politicians, who know that attacking tobacco is a vote-winner.
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