Motor Racing: BAR escape fine in row over car liveries

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The Independent Online
FORMULA ONE'S newest team, British American Racing, yesterday escaped with a mild rebuke instead of a fine or suspension from the sport's governing body, FIA, after apologising for their behaviour in a dispute over liveries and logos.

Craig Pollock, BAR's managing director, told the World Motor Sport Council - the body within FIA which deals with issues relating to international motor sport - that his lawyers had "acted without his instructions" in complaining to the European Commission, thus challenging FIA's authority.

BAR sparked the controversy when they presented their new cars earlier this year. One was painted in red, white and black and emblazoned with a Lucky Strike logo. The other was blue and yellow and promoted the 555 cigarette brand.

"It's like having a football team with different shirts," Max Mosley, FIA president, said. "It's important that cars from the same team should be easily identified."

BAR appealed to the International Chamber of Commerce - which resolves disputes involving commercial interests between FIA and its member teams - but was rebuffed.

They then had to repaint the cars identically - with different cigarette brands on each side.