BAR Honda banned for two races

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> The Honda-backed BAR team were banned from the next two Formula One races on Thursday.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:51 IST
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The Honda-backed BAR team were banned from the next two Formula One races on Thursday after breaking weight and fuel regulations at the San Marino Grand Prix 11 days ago. The team will miss Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona and the race in Monaco on May 22. Ever since the two race ban was announced on Thursday, BAR's Chief Executive Officer Nick Fry continued to protest their innocence over charges of running Jenson Button's car underweight in the San Marino Grand Prix. "We clearly would not agree with that, we think we were treated wholly disproportionately. No we don't accept that at all, our car at all times was over the minimum weight limit," Fry said. Fry spent the last 24 hours looking at the possibility of obtaining an injunction that would allow the team to compete on Sunday. Tough action BAR were also docked the points they obtained in San Marino and have a suspended six-month ban hanging over their heads for the next year. In what is being considered the toughest sanction taken against an F1 team for 20 years, drivers Jenson Button and Takuma Sato have been stripped of the 10 points that they had collectively won in San Marino. The British outfit will return to action at the European Grand Prix with no points to their name. "If anything this has strengthened us, our team is a very cohesive team anyway. We have a strong relationship with our partner Honda. If anything this attack from the outside has pulled us together and we're probably stronger than we were yesterday," Fry added. "Well we're still hoping to get him into the race tomorrow, so hopefully not too much but obviously missing a few races would be a big blow to us, especially as they are both races he has a chance of winning," he said. Meanwhile, FIA president Max Mosley has issued a strong warning to all teams to abide by all Formula One rules and regulations. And F1 Boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the next two races will field only 18 cars instead of the usual 20, and no team will be allowed to run a third car to make up the numbers. (With AP inputs)