Although Jenson Button’s BAR Honda was deemed legal after the San Marino Grand Prix, the FIA has lodged an appeal against the race stewards’ decision. Toyota, in turn, will appeal the 25-second post-race penalty slapped on Ralf Schumacher.
Although Jenson Button’s BAR Honda was deemed legal after the San Marino Grand Prix, the FIA (F1’s governing body) has lodged an appeal against the race stewards’ decision. Toyota, in turn, will appeal the 25-second post-race penalty slapped on Ralf Schumacher.
Button finished third on Sunday, and, following the race, stewards checked whether the Briton’s car complied with the standing technical regulations, among them minimum weight.
At 10pm, the stewards of the meeting said in a FIA statement: “The car was weighed in the configuration it had finished and was above the minimum weight limit. It was subsequently drained of fuel and then re-weighed and found to be underweight. The stewards, after hearing the explanation of the competitor’s representatives and studying the documentation, decided that the matter requires no further action.”
However, BAR Honda on Monday received a faxed communication from the Secretary General of the FIA stating that the FIA would lodge an appeal against the stewards’ decision.
“We are surprised that the FIA has decided to appeal against decision number 49, which was taken by FIA-appointed stewards,” the Brackley-based team’s chief executive, Nick Fry, said. “We will provide the same rigorous data presented to the stewards last night and we’re confident we can prove the car was fully compliant with the FIA Technical Regulations throughout the grand prix.
“The FIA has requested a hearing at the FIA International Court of Appeal in Paris on Wednesday May 4. The team will of course co-operate fully with this request,” he added.
Meanwhile, Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher was stripped of eighth place at Imola after race stewards added 25 seconds to his time for a pit-stop incident. The team said they would appeal against the decision, which demoted Ralf to 11th and gifted Williams-BMW’s Nick Heidfeld a championship point.
“In view of the extremely vague description of the regulation and a number of similar incidents which have gone unpunished, Toyota has decided to appeal the decision of the stewards in order to clarify this issue for the future,” said team boss Tsutumu Tomita.
No time was set for the appeal hearing.
Stewards said Toyota had released Ralf from his second pit stop before it was safe to do so. “At the last pit-stop Ralf Schumacher got in front of me by forcing me to brake hard and avoid a crash,” Heidfeld was quoted as saying.
:: CARtoday.com will recalculate, if necessary, the standings in the online F1 Challenge game pending the outcomes of the FIA and Toyota F1’s appeals.