The International Automobile Federation FIA has accused the British American Racing Formula One team of cheating and has asked an appeals court to throw the team off the Grand Prix circuit.

FIA accused BAR-Honda of running an underweight car and using a special secret second fuel tank when Jenson Button finished third in the San Marino Grand Prix last month. Race stewards originally said Button's car met the 600kg minimum weight, but then when the fuel was drained the car was five kg too light.

FIA said the team should be thrown out of Formula One and should be fined nearly $1.3 million.

BAR has denied any wrongdoing, saying the car complied with FIA standards during the race. The British-American team also said the so-called second fuel tank was only a collector that distributes fuel evenly to the engine during the race.

BAR is currently in seventh place in the season constructors' standings with 10 points. Button is in 12th place in the drivers' standings with six points from four races.