fight that is going on?
fight that is going on?
They installed a holding tank inside the regular tank. They were asked to drain all the fuel, they said they did. There was still fuel in the car and without that fuel, they were under weight. You can't use fuel as balast. It seems as simple as that.
What I don't understand is why BAR thought they could use a holding tank design like they did. Is it one of those situations where the rules don't specifically forbid it so they thought they could weasle it through?
This is not one of those oopsy situations where the car is .1mm too low where nobody on the team was aware of the situation. Everybody HAD to know that the second tank existed and that it was at least questionable according to the rules.
Although I agree that BAR exercised a "creative" interpretation of the rules, I think this situation is being entirely overblown by the FIA...which means there must be something more going on here than meets the eye....
Here's some of what we know to be true:
- BAR showed the system to the FIA before the season! This was NOT a "secret" as Mad Max would have you believe!!
- At least three other teams are using a "holding" tank. Why was BAR singled out?
- BAR proved to the satisfaction of the FIA court and the race stewards that they did NOT run underweight at any time during the race. Again, why then is Max insisting that they "cheated?" Certainly the system gave them the opportunity to cheat, but they proved that they did not.
I still can't figure out what BAR did that made Max and Bernie so mad...it's more than this specific situation. Are they trying to blackmail the GPWC teams into staying in F1??? If Max and Bernie keep hounding BAR and try to prosecute them further for "bringing the sport into disrepute," the GPWC break-away will happen sooner rather than later. The GPWC has already issued a statement this week condemning the BAR decision. What is Bernie thinking? Pissing the GPWC teams off more will cost him MORE money to keep these teams in F1. If they do leave, what will F1 be? The Ferrari Championship race series????
"BAR showed the system to the FIA before the season! This was NOT a "secret" as Mad Max would have you believe!!"
And what makes you beleive this to be the case? All the reports I have seen say that the FIA did not know about the tank. And who says that three of the other cars have a non-drainable holding tank? You ask the question, "Why would BAR be singled out"... exactly.
"BAR proved to the satisfaction of the FIA court and the race stewards that they did NOT run underweight at any time during the race."
The FIA court specifically stated that there was not enough data to prove that BAR did not run under weight.
I guess I get a little miffed when people state things like "This is what we KNOW to be true", and then rattle off their interpretation of the situation.<html>
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Further, the rule does not just say that the car cannot be under 600kg during the event. Since the cars always have fuel on board when racing, the actual weight always is in excess of 600kg. Thus, BAR's argument that it was never under 600kg (since there was fuel on board) was just plain ridiculous.
The rules set forth a theoretical measure: IF the fuel had been removed at any point during the event, would the car have been less than 600kg? The clear answer in BAR's case was "yes."
Any other interpretation allows the team to add fuel weight to the car. The measure is of dry weight and BAR darned well knew it.
The tech reason for BAR's system was that they were pressurizing the tank to prevent fuel starvation. The FIA knew this, and there is nothing illegal about such a system. The illegality arose when BAR started running light, and justified this by arguing that the pressurization system only worked if the "reserve" tank was full, so they were never really underweight. Problems with this argument include:
1. It ain't what the rules say.
2. It required the FIA to accept BAR at its word about the operation of BAR's proprietary system, i.e., it allowed the fox to guard the henhouse.
3. The car would in fact operate without a full reserve tank, just not as well.
Charlie Whiting admitted in the FIA Court that he saw the BAR secondary tank system prior to the season and knew of its existence. I don't know all the regulations about showing the FIA a proposed technical system and it actually being "approved," but in my book that scenario AT LEAST refutes the claim that it was a "secret" to the FIA. Every major F1 publication has run this story, so I have to belive they know more about this than you or I.
I don't know that the other three teams have been ID'd, but both autosport.com and planetf1.com had reports from their regular F1 reporters with the same story- 3 other teams runing a similar holding tank system were making changes for the next race (Spain). It was also mentioned on the SpeedTV qualifying broadcast.
The court transcript does in fact say that BAR provided the data that proved they did not run underweight at any time during Imola. That is why they were NOT banned for the entire season.
The entire dispute is whether the extra fuel in the holding tank would be counted as fuel or ballast. The FIA insists that it is fuel, and should have been drained with the fuel in the main cell when requested to do so at the end of the race. That would mean that BAR would be approx 6kg underweight. BAR interpreted the rule (very creatively as I have already stated) that this fuel was ballast necessary to pressurize the fuel system. It does provide the POSSIBILITY that BAR could run underweight at times and not get caught. That is what they were referring to in their statement, NOT that they admitted to running underweight at Imola- they have denied that since the beginning. The Court sided with the FIA in the interpretation of the weight and "dry" tank rule, and gave BAR the 2 race ban.
There are in fact some truths to the sitaution if you investigate beyond the FIA statements...