BAR-Honda will miss this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix as the British-based team has abandoned its plans to overturn a two-race ban for breaking fuel and weight regulations.

BAR-Honda will miss this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix as the British-based team has abandoned its plans to overturn a two-race ban for breaking fuel and weight regulations.

The team issued a statement on Friday saying it would not take any further legal action and has accepted that it will not be racing in Monaco on May 22.

"On balance, the team has decided that to challenge the sport's governing body would cause a level of disruption and damage to the sport which would not serve the best interests of everyone involved," the BAR statement noted.

Earlier the team has declared that it would resort to any legal means necessary to overturn the two-race ban (including a six-month ban suspended for a year) the FIA appeal court slapped on the team on Thursday. reported on Thursday that the court slapped the ban on the Brackley-based team for running an underweight car in the San Marino Grand Prix, and decreed that BAR-Honda forfeit the 10 points scored by Jenson Button and team-mate Takuma Sato in the race. But the judges stopped short of expelling the team from Formula One, as the FIA had requested.

Button's BAR 007 was found to be 5,4kg underweight at the end of the Imola race. Stewards found two additional fuel tanks inside the main tank and initially argued that BAR had broken rules by using fuel as ballast to allow the car to run light during a race. After an explanation from the team's technical staff, the stewards reinstated the car, but the FIA itself appealed their decision.

'Judgment contrary to all of the evidence'

On Thursday night, BAR-Honda team boss Nick Fry said the team was still considering its options and hoped to race in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

"BAR Honda is appalled at the decision and asserts that the judgment is contrary to all of the evidence heard," Fry said. "The team proved it complied with the current regulations and the FIA now acknowledges that the regulations are unclear."

"While the International Court of Appeal rejected the FIA's original accusations of fraud and deception, BAR Honda believes that this penalty is wholly and grossly disproportionate."

According to the BBC, the ruling was the toughest sanction taken against a Formula One team for 20 years. The team have been excluded from both the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

There is no further internal appeal process open to BAR, and civil court action will be required should the matter be pursued.

BAR will be unwise to sue - Ecclestone

However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone said he felt BAR-Honda were lucky not to have been excluded for longer and warned Fry he would be unwise to sue: "I thought it was a very fair thing to do to be honest. I feel they got off quite lightly."

Asked about the threat of BAR heading to a civil court, Ecclestone added: "I think they'd be silly to do that. Other people might think they admitted they infringed the regulations. Anyone else is going to say they were warned at the start of the championship, they decided to ignore it.

"I wouldn't want to go to a civil court personally, I think it's a big risk," Ecclestone remarked. reported earlier that the FIA had asked for the team to be kicked out of F1 for the rest of the season for deliberately running an underweight car at Imola.

But the FIA appeal court rejected accusations of cheating, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove BAR "deliberately committed fraud".

FIA president Max Mosley said the punishment could have been harsher: "The facts are very clear. The team was asked to pump the fuel out of their car .

"They left 15 litres in the tank and told us it was empty. Under the circumstances, we feel they have been treated rather leniently."

Montoya, Alonso sympathise with BAR drivers'

Juan Pablo Montoya, who will return to the cockpit of his McLaren-Mercedes following an injury layoff, and championship leader Fernando Alonso, expressed sympathy for Button and Sato.

"I was shocked actually that they put them out of the races but that's the way it goes I guess," said Montoya.

Alonso added: "We all agree that there are specific rules for all the teams. If you are not inside the rules then you risk having a penalty. I think Jenson did a fantastic race in Imola and he was on the podium because he deserved that podium in the way he drove. You are risking a lot in the whole race.

"When it's not your fault and you are out it will be a disappointment but I'm sure they will come back," he added.

The last team to be banned was Tyrrell, which missed the last three races in 1984 because the sport's governing body ruled that lead shot (described as "unsecured ballast") and a performance aid had been found in water that was sprayed into a tank in Martin Brundle's car during a pit stop at the Detroit Grand Prix. A tribunal concluded that there was no way of knowing whether the car was over the minimum weight limit throughout the race. Ironically, BAR bought out the Tyrrell F1 franchise to enter the sport in 1999.

Original article from Car