MAY 12, 2005
Hidden away in the documents
The recent FIA International Court of Appeal resulted in the production of hundreds of pages of documents and data and with the Grand Prix as well there has been little time to analyse everything that emerged in the paperwork. It is interesting to note, however, that there are two documents in the BAR bundle which hint at the fact that the team was not the only one which might have been running the same kind of collector system.
When asked in the court about this the FIA's Jo Bauer declined to answer the question on the grounds of confidentiality (which is fair enough) but in the BAR paperwork team boss Ron Meadows says in his witness statement that "in the event that the stewards decision had gone against the team, I had pre-written 6 protest forms against 6 other cars in the event. I had done this because we believed that the fuel systems used by the other teams were similar to ours and would have still contained fuel after being weighed. These other cars, we believed, should also have been fully drained and hoovered out in the same way as Lucky Strike BAR Honda. However we decided that it was not in anyone's interest to lodge any official protests because the stewards' decision had confirmed that out car complied with the 2005 technical regulations".
It also worth noting that the bundle also included a statement from Phil Keyworth of fuel bag manufacturer ATL which stated that "all F1 teams use collection systems" and that "all current F1 fuel cell designs differ from team to team (and year to year). ATL finds nothing unusual with the BAR Honda design".
None of this proves anything but it is nonetheless interesting to see that things might have been very different - and a real mess - if the stewards had made a different decision.
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