Plans for refuelling in 2017 set be dropped due to team opposition

Plans for the reintroduction of refuelling to F1 in 2017 look to be dead in the water following a meeting at which representatives of the teams expressed unanimous opposition to it.

It’s understood that the FIA’s Charlie Whiting will now report the findings of the meeting back to the F1 Strategy Group, whose members came up with the idea in their May 14th gathering.

Tonight’s regular Thursday F1 team managers’ meeting morphed into a meeting of the Sporting Working Committee, whose role is to refine regulations. Refuelling was one of two main items on the agenda, along with 2016 tyre rules.

Surprisingly perhaps the main opposition to refuelling was on the basis that it would be detrimental to the show, rather than cost or safety.

Data analysed by various team strategists and presented at the meeting provided solid proof that refuelling would not improve the racing – for example in 2010, the year after it was stopped, there were twice as many overtaking moves as in the previous year.

It was also agreed that if refuelling came back it would again have to be on the basis of drivers qualifying on race fuel, a concept that the teams felt was not successful, as it did not present a true picture of who had the fastest car.

Although cost was not the main driver of today’s decision it’s estimated that a return to refuelling would cost £1m in the first year, and then £500,000 a year thereafter. Some teams have expressed doubts over safety, as the desire to have fast pit stops that depend on the tyre changing time would require much faster flow rates than previously, for example a 33 litres per second flow as opposed to 12.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Plans for refuelling in 2017 set be dropped due to team opposition

  1. floodo1

    And things change … AGAIN. Seriously when will the powers that be realize that STABILITY is what we need most now.

    Also, refueling is kinda cool but qualifying on race fuel was the worst idea EVER. The current system is actually pretty good.

  2. peterg

    Ditto. I like the idea of a car starting heavy and finishing light. Let the driver show his skill in managing a car whose balance changes. 3 stint, two-stoppers became so predictable.

  3. Leone

    Good. Refuelling makes sense in endurance racing, but not in Grand Prix racing.

  4. Off Track

    Always always we hear the bees but we never see the honey 🙂

  5. GeorgeK

    If the teams UNANIMOUSLY rejected refueling, WHO proposed it and why didn’t the SG squash the idea in the discussion stage?

  6. akismet-5ff276dd0d46accd74f84a6d1606d4a7

    Aren’t the people who are now saying its not a good idea made up of many of the same people who said it was a great idea a few weeks ago?

    • No. That was team principals, this time it was team managers, guys who know what they are talking about…

    • I gather that the refueling idea was suggested by Donald Mackenzie (CVC Chairman) & the only other person in favor of it was Sergio Marchionne (Ferrari’s representative).

      Everyone else in the strategy group were opposed to the idea but willing to look into it further before totally writing it off.

  7. It’s more of a challenge for the teams to design fuel tanks that can hold a race load of fuel and then have that load distributed during that race. Let the Engineers engineer, Formula One was supposed to be about fast cars AND technology. I love the fast pit stops and refueling will only slow them down.

  8. Jodum5

    I thought DRS was the reason overtaking went up, not because refueling was banned?

  9. obster

    I agree with the teams in leaving refueling behind…move forward, not back.

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