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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 08:51 GMT
Button defends BAR engine tactics
Jenson Button
Button was ordered into the pits on the last lap in Australia
Jenson Button has defended BAR's decision to exploit a loophole in the rules in order to change engines for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

BAR retired both cars in Australia two weeks ago because they thought the rule saying engines must last for two races did not apply if cars failed to finish.

"I think it was the right thing to do for the team," said Button.

BAR are likely to escape being penalised 10 grid places as Formula One chiefs have now closed the loophole.

Under the new regulations set down by the sport's governing body, the FIA, any team failing to use the same engine for two successive races would be pushed back on the grid.

The rules are the rules, they are what they are and they say you can change your engine if you stop before the chequered flag
Jenson Button

After BAR's tactical retirement in Melbourne, the FIA moved to clear up the grey area, stating teams would now have to explain why they failed to finish.

"A distinction will be made between failing to finish and choosing not to finish," a statement said.

"The former is normally accidental or beyond the control of the driver while the latter is not."

BAR team boss Nick Fry admitted they had ordered Button and Takuma Sato into the pits on the last lap because they were not in points-scoring positions. They were classified 11th and 14th.

But Button believes his team's actions - albeit now firmly against the rules - will give him an advantage over his rivals in Sepang.

"I think some teams will struggle so it should help us," said Button.

"Either they are going to have to change their engine after Friday practice or they will really have to turn it down for the race.

"The rules are the rules, they are what they are and they say you can change your engine if you stop before the chequered flag. I can't really see what the issue is."

A BAR spokeswoman said the team would be "continuing as planned" with the new Honda engines they had fitted for Malaysia, and believed they would "not incur a penalty".

Meanwhile, an FIA spokesman said the Malaysian Grand Prix stewards would have to decide whether to take any action against BAR if the team only had the fresh engines at Sepang.

It is not expected that the new interpretation will cause any problems for Michael Schumacher, who drove back to the pits to retire on lap 42 after a collision with Williams driver Nick Heidfeld

Coulthard ready for tougher test
16 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Button expecting return to form
16 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Schumacher eyes Sepang fightback
15 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Williams target car improvements
13 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Renault ready for Malaysia trial
14 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Sato rues BAR's shortage of pace
10 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Ferrari 'still strongest F1 team'
08 Mar 05 |  Formula One
Fisichella romps to Australia win
06 Mar 05 |  Formula One

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