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F1 ditches refuelling comeback plans

2015-07-04 13:10

CUTTING COSTS: F1 teams have decided ways are needed to save costs on fuel rather than returning refuelling during races - something banned in 2010. Image: AFP / Rayez Nureldine

SILVERSTONE, England - Formula 1 has abandoned controversial plans to reintroduce refuelling from 2017 since teams decided it "would not be a good move".

Force India deputy team principal Bob Fernley said on Friday (July 3 2015) ahead of the 2015 British F1 GP: "The collective view was that it's not going to improve the show and the decision was not to go forward with it."

The proposal to bring back refuelling was raised at a meeting of the sport's Strategy Group in May 2015 as a measure to make cars faster and F1 more exciting for drivers and fans.

EXTRA COSTS

However, the initial enthusiasm waned when some questioned why something banned in 2010 for reasons of cost and safety should be revived at a time when teams were trying to save money. Concerns about refuelling narrowing the strategy options were also raised.

A Strategy Group meeting on July 1 2015 formally shelved the idea - which would require heavy rigs and extra pit-crew people - in a statement issued the following day. Instead, it mentioned a proposal to increase the race fuel allowance.

Fernley said the refuelling proposal had stemmed from a desire to increase engine horsepower, which would require more fuel and either bigger tanks or the chance to put more in during the race.

The Force India boss said the latest Strategy Group meeting had been constructive, particularly in overhauling power-unit penalties and increasing restrictions on driving aids.

NEW DECISIONS

"Some very important decisions were made, quickly and efficiently, to deal with issues in F1 from Austria in terms of penalties. I thought we did a good job with all of that. There are three or four initiatives, if you like, that now need to go through the process.

"Initially, they have to go through the engine manufacturers, the International Automobile Federation, the commercial-rights holder or a combination of them to see if they have merit and can go to the next stage, which is for the teams to evaluate."

They included possible changes to the 2016 qualifying and race weekend formats. Fernley said many of the suggestions were "purely conceptual" at present.

Stay with Wheels24 for Live updates from the 2015 British Grand Prix.

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