Refuelling back as FIA plans faster F1 cars for 2017

A return to refuelling is one of the measures the FIA is planning for 2017 in an attempt to give the sport a boost.

Almost 24 hours after yesterday’s Strategy Group meeting ended a joint statement from Bernie Ecclestone and Jean Todt outlined some of what had been discussed:

The Formula One Strategy Group met yesterday in Biggin Hill to exchange views on the current challenges that F1 faces. Besides the statuary members of the Group, representatives of the engine manufacturers were also invited.

The Strategy Group members have debated a number of levers aimed at improving the show. An initial series of measures has been voted:

For 2016:
– Free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend
For 2017:
– Faster cars: 5 to 6 seconds drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight
– Reintroduction of refuelling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance)
– Higher revving engines and increased noise
– More aggressive looks

A few other measures have also been discussed but require further investigation before they can be implemented:
– A global reflection on race weekend format
– Measures to make starts only activated by the driver without any outside assistance

Furthermore, in light of the various scenarios presented by the independent consulting company mandated by the F1 Strategy Group, at the initiative of the FIA, to work on the reduction of costs and following a constructive exchange, a comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged.

The Strategy Group member Teams have committed to refine it in the next few weeks, in consultation with the other teams involved in the championship. On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants. The allowance for a 5th engine to be used during the 2015 season has been rejected.

This constructive meeting between the FIA, FOM and the Teams has allowed paving the way for the future of the championship. All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation.

16 Comments

Filed under F1, F1 News, Grand Prix News

16 responses to “Refuelling back as FIA plans faster F1 cars for 2017

  1. Off Track

    We hear the bees but we never see the honey.

  2. MJR

    A disater.
    No cost cap or fairer distribution of monies. Better support of the smaller teams is needed, not driving them out of business so they can become customers of the big teams
    Refuelling – extra cost, decreased safety. Pitstops need to be slower not a blur of action.
    More tyre choices wil spread out the field.
    More expenditure on engine will be required and will add nothing to the closeness of the racing.

  3. Jason

    I’m not sure refuelling is the missing ingredient. Apart from costing the teams tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds, it just creates sprint races and of course with refuelling comes smaller fuel cells, which requires a change of design and more cost! All this really seems like panic thinking where the promoter, the FIA and the teams are pulling things off the shelf at random. The problem with our sport today is that there are to many gimmicks to try to artificially create close racing. Surely by relaxing the rules around design you will get creative solutions from really clever engineers, rather than the same 15 or so people sitting around a table.

  4. David

    Refuelling – hope all those VIP’s perched in a flammable tent structure ie Padock Club above the pits have good life insurance!

  5. Mick

    I wonder if Pirelli will be given any control at all over the tyre selections on safety grounds in the same way they have controlled camber and stopped the reversing of tyre direction?

  6. Not too bad. But vegan hipsters aka fans of current formula won’t like it.

    Remains to be seen whether it all becomes a reality.

    Mean, they gotta do something. Refuelling adds an element of excitement if you look at NASCAR or INDYCAR. Plus St FIA WEC does it – holy place for “road relevance”.

    I would want better & true star drivers with stronger personalities, that’s where other series beat F1. Fans follow drivers in the first place. All these posh rich kids in F1 don’t move me. Rags to riches à la #blessed Hammo stories is wot brings fans to orgasm. Obviously all the teams would have to afford YD programmes or put a talented guy from GP2, WSR, GP3 or IndyCar in their car. No “sponsorship package” or corporate cr*p required.

    F1 teams/drivers, the FIA and FOM don’t have a common social media policy. That would also improve the image of the sport.

    Little things here & there can make a lot of difference.

    • anon

      What is so exciting about watching somebody do something that I can go down to my local garage and watch?

    • anon

      You seem to be determined to belittle, insult and denigrate everybody who has the temerity of having a different opinion, but I ask again – what exactly is exciting about watching a group of people put fuel into a car? If you are supposedly a fan of watching drivers compete on track, why should we be excited about watching mechanics in the pit lane undertaking a relatively mundane task?

      • It may never happen – refuelling, check out Autosport or F1 dot com for full details. If people try to bite me, I bite back. Zat’s all. There’s a bit of Ecclestone in all of us. A baddie.

        Refuelling is not the answer, obviously. It may spice thing up occasionally: Massa @ SIN 2008, etc.. Not life or death measure for F1.

        Also, I doubt your or my neighbours can afford to own a full-on F1 refuelling machine, they surely go to a normal petrol pump, no? Mean, Portuguese authorities would’t even allow me to modify my Clio to accommodate F1 refuelling hose. A disaster. More like growing a beard & switching to vegan food.

        I’ll leave the decision on refuelling up to Herr Ja Hybrid Wolff. He’s better qualified fo’ zee job zan me.

      • @anon, when you add refueling back in to the sport you bring back one more element that the teams have to perform and mistakes can happen from that. Refueling IS part of racing and has always been

  7. Peterg

    Unbelievable! One of the best things F1 has done in recent years was to get rid of refuelling. Now we go back to perfectly balanced/weighted cars that do 3 stint, two stop races.

    Having to start with a full load of fuel, managing brake and tyre wear on the initially heavy car, adjusting to the change in handling as the fuel weight comes down; these are driver skills that need to be rewarded. Think Alain Prost.

    Once again F1 has missed an opportunity to address the root of all evil…the over reliance on aerodynamics.

    Further, F1 diminished one of the best ideas it has introduced in years. The tyre compounds being a performance “gap apart” rule eg. Super Soft paired with Medium. The early Pirrelli’s, with the sudden “fall off” at their end of performance life provided great racing. There needs to be a bigger performance gap between the two compounds.

    I see the reintroduction of refueling as a step backwards, it also increases the costs which F1 keeps talking about controlling.

  8. I’m for refueling BUT it will sure slow down the pit stops. Is it the answer? Hell no, IMHO.

    Increased Noise, more aggressive looks – come on man! This isn’t going to make the racing better or the sport cheaper.

    Formula One has always been about the cutting edge. Let the Engineers engineer, they know best what makes the cars got faster. Create a cost cap and let the teams make things inside that cap.

    If you want the cars to go faster and work better in traffic, put two cars in the wind tunnel (either a real tunnel or CFD) and work on the second car.

    • peterg

      “If you want the cars to go faster and work better in traffic, put two cars in the wind tunnel (either a real tunnel or CFD) and work on the second car.”

      You’ve got my vote with above suggestion, unfortunately it makes too much sense…..so F1 will probably not do it.

      You have touched on the biggest problem for good racing in F1, Aero.

      GP2 racing makes F1 look foolish sometimes.Under-body generated down force and the ability to draft and pass.

      • This isn’t really an F1 thing but more like a team thing. The slower teams, if they were smart, would put a car in front of the other car and build off the turbulence.

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