Does BAR have to turn up?

British American Racing was cleared of allegedly running its cars underweight at Imola. The FIA stewards took six hours to come up with a decision. For the moment, however, the team is innocent and all the talk about possible penalties is irrelevant.

That situation would be very useful for those who have signed to prolong the Concorde Agreement to 2012 and those who want to do things differently in the future, as it would make a crucial difference in the voting on the FIA Formula 1 Commission. The federation - which wants to prolong the Concorde Agreement - needs to be very careful that people do not confuse this fact with the current appeal process and the possible sanctions that could occur.

If the FIA Stewards felt that the BAR case was a good one on Sunday night, it is hard to see why the Court of Appeal would have a different opinion. In the vast majority of cases in the past the court has backed the FIA stewards. If there is new evidence one must ask why the stewards were not given it on Sunday.

The interesting question is whether or not the BAR team needs to attend the hearing as it has been cleared by the stewards and is therefore not legally involved in the appeal. The Court of Appeal cannot go through the same process as the stewards did on Sunday night because the car was released to BAR after the decision.

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