FOTA discusses F1 refuelling ban

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Formula One Teams’ Association is continuing its effort to improve F1. I expressed some concerns about the ideas they were coming up with at first, but this new one has my 100% support:

They’re considering banning refuelling during the races.

I know some people won’t agree with me on this, but I’m all in favour of getting rid of refuelling.

Why? Because we’ll have proper qualifying again. No more tedious unpicking of race strategies and fuel loads. No more drivers waiting until the pit stops to make a pass. No more drivers getting penalties for making fuel stops during ‘pit lane closures’. No more dangerous refuelling fires.

Think how close the three-way title battle would be right now if Robert Kubica hadn’t lost a points finish at Singapore because of the ‘pit lane closure’ rules. We wouldn’t have those rules if refuelling were banned.

Banning refuelling would sweep away many of F1’s most unjust and over-complicated rules with one fell swoop. It would make F1 fairer, easier for fans to follow, and much better.

Refuelling ban? I say bring it on FOTA.

Hers’s some more I’ve written about this before:

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66 comments on “FOTA discusses F1 refuelling ban”

  1. I’m with you on that one.
    Go on ban it please.
    Make the KERS system mean something!

    1. why would they do its there are to many rules already taken the ****, it not was i used to be dont think i will be watch much this season

  2. But I think that it also means that races will be shorter and that is 100% stupid, also why ban refueling I really can’t see any benefits.

  3. schumi the greatest
    14th October 2008, 11:13

    well….im sitting on the fence with this one.

    I started watching f1 a little bit in 96 and from 97 onwards ive been a dedicated fan, all through that period there has been refuelling so i dont know what the racing would be like without it, ive got the end of season reviews from 88-93 to have a small idea but thats hardly a comprehensive view of it.

    I think there will be advantages of banning refeulling, qualifying will be better for a start, no more artificial pole positisons for being lighter than anyone else.

    But without refeulling you do take away some good things.

    Look at hamiltons drive in turkey, that was great to watch because he was lighter on fuel he had to make up that extra pit stop on the ferraris. Look at schumahcer’s win in hungary 98, that was brilliant and it was all because he switched to a 3 stop strategy.

    To be honest eitther way i wouldnt be too bothered, i just wish they would get rid of race fuel qualifying, i cant stand it, it takes away what f1 is all about, being the fastest, its not about whos carrying the least fuel.

    Keith how likley is this to happen?? would it be brought in for next year?

  4. I’m totally with you. Sensible qualifing and races won on the track.

  5. Think how close the three-way title battle would be right now if Robert Kubica hadn’t lost a points finish at Singapore because of the ‘pit lane closure’ rules.

    A bit of a moot point, considering how different the points table would be full stop.

    For a start, In Canada, there would’ve been none of the pitlane shenanigans, France would therefore be unaffected by grid penalties. Massa too wouldn’t have had to stack in the pits and Raikkonen wouldn’t have been taken out. And Kubica probably wouldn’t have won, and so BMWs development program wouldn’t have shifted to 2009 so early.
    In Singapore, Massa wouldn’t have suffered in the way he did, and neither Raikkonen wouldn’t have to stack behind him either, and Alonso would’ve still been stuck in the midfield.
    In Germany, Piquet wouldn’t have got his podium, leaving Massa in 2nd and so on.

    It would’ve been an entirely different championship, but all the stronger for having everything decided on track.
    As well as proper qualifying again, which can only be a positive

  6. Marko – No, they’d just make the fuel tanks bigger (so STG I wouldn’t expect this for 2009, maybe 2010). As for benefits, see paragraph four.

    STG – Take away refuelling and Hamilton and Schumacher are both still excellent drivers who do excellent things in the car. We’ll get plenty of chances to see that without refuelling.

    Refuelling was brought in as a knee-jerk reaction to ’92 and ’93, when Williams were hugely quicker than everyone else which made the races rather dull. But the races were only dull because of Williams’ technological advantage. In 2002 Ferrari had a huge advantage over everyone else and did refuelling make the races any better? Did it hell.

  7. schumi the greatest
    14th October 2008, 11:24

    fair points keith, obviously then the advantage will go to the drivers who can look after their tyres better, i dont think hamilton will be looking forward to it too much.

    funny then that its been kept for so long, because after 92 when was the next time 1 team really dominated a season?? well maybe 96 williams but after that it was 01 or 02 when ferrari started dominating the other years in the period 94-02 were all pretty close

  8. I’m all for a ban on refuelling — as long as they don’t shorten the races — but one of your arguments doesn’t really stick with me:

    No more dangerous refuelling fires.

    We’ve seen refuelling during races for as many as 14 seasons, now. During that period only a handful of times, there have been fires in the pit lane. Mostly they were small and were either put out by the pit crew, or because of the car getting up to speed again. Only one exemption: Jos Verstappen’s fire at Hockenheim in 1994. And that was because of the fact that Benetton had removed one of the filters.

  9. I am actually against this idea and against the simplification of F1.

  10. Banning refueling would also reduce costs for the teams and therefore might actually have some chance of happening. We know they need to massively reduce costs over the next few years.

  11. When I first got into F1 it was the early 1990’s (Prost, Mansell, Senna), and I remember refueling being a retrograde step, it definitely felt like it made racing worse.

    But, I think, the problem now is if they ban refueling, what’s going to happen about the tyres? Bridgestone would need to be persuaded to provide harder compound tyres to allow a variety of tyre strategies. With the current tyres most teams would still need to do similar pit-stops.

  12. Marko – Yeah that’s the article I linked to. I’d be surprised if they did it because the logic doesn’t follow – they didn’t make races longer when they reintroduced refuelling in 1994. I think F1 races are exactly the right length now, except perhaps some of those at very high speed tracks like Monza which can be a bit too short.

  13. @Bob, I don’t think they would need to offer more compounds, as most of the races, apart from last week, tyre degradation has been rather minimal over the stints.

    It does mean drivers can drive the hell out of the tyres and try and do more stops then usual, or look after them and try a 1 stopper, or a full race distance.

  14. Ahh…….Thank you for getting back to a broad discussion on the Sport of F1. No doubt someone will try and work a conspiracy theory into this discussion but……..

    I assume we won’t be losing compulsory pit stops? For tyres that is. Although I like the idea of not having races influenced by Safety Cars and “who can get into the pits for fuel, first” I would hope that pit stops stay, just to add a little more room for human error or possiblity of. After all there are claims that F1 is a team sport. I would guess also that pit stops would not at all be allowed during SC periods. Tyres, although they wear, are easier to manage behind the SC, obviously.

    On another note. Since things have been spiced up with a night race. Why not add a enduro to the calender?

  15. I would like to see refueling go away, but I don’t know were I stand on other things. The situation now is something in between that I do not like. They basically have to refuel, that have to use two different types of tires, only one race per weekend, conservative point-scoring… It’s a weird mix of tradition and artificial stuff.

    Trying to keep F1 in line with its tradition? One race, pit stops, same point-scoring as today and so on… Or do a complete makeover? And by that I mean stuff like two short races, reverse grid, different point-scoring system, limit on amount of fuel, green technologies, and so on…

  16. but refueling adds some spice in the race… that is without any doubt… sometimes can be negative though…
    the 3 way show down would be very close, but can u assure that there wont be ONLY 3way battles… others wud have little chance…

    the qf wid race fuel thingy on the other hand is a crap, and can be changed – i believe

  17. Sven Weichbrodt
    14th October 2008, 12:16

    How quickly we tend to forget. Ban refuelling and be prepared for mid-race economy runs where the crowd go to sleep and the commentators start talking about the past. Refuelling or banning it always seems to be one of those suggestions that crops up whenever people run out of genuine, meaningful and original ideas (and I refer to the FIA, FOCA and FOTA, not th esteemed members of this website).

    Personally I suggest it should remain but with no caveats, ie if you want to refuel, you refuel irrespective of when.

  18. It’s strange. On the one hand, the FIA is supposedly obsessed with safety. On the other, they seem to be perfectly happy for mechanics to be run over and injured on a regular basis, and for the occasional refuelling fire to engulf most of a pit crew. I say minimise the rules as much as is safely possible. They’re not very cleverly enforced anyway. If teams want to run a big tank and not refuel – fine. If they want to run a tiny tank and stop every few laps – that’s fine too. And please, please can we stop this ridiculous Q3 heavy fuel qualifying nonsense. Qualifying should be about the fastest car, not the fastest car with all due consideration to an optimal race strategy.

  19. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing to remove it from the races – but I’m 100% behind the stupid quali rules we currently have. No race fuel would mean the best driver was on pole at every race – in theory at least!

    In the spirit of environmental issues, perhaps a better plan (which could also be included in this) would be to limit the fuel each driver is allowed to encourage improvements in economy as well as outright speed.

  20. I’m completely for the ban on refuelling. Both for safety and to reduce the chance of a ridiculous outcome of a race should a safety car or a fuel-rig problem occur.

  21. Having been a huge fan of F1 since 1987 I could not agree more about getting rid of refuelling. It’s a totally artificial way of making the races more interesting and having been on the edge of my seat through some terrific, Prost, Berger, Patrese, Schumacher and Senna battles I think it would only be for the good of the sport.

    I’ll never forget watching Mansell try to push his car across the line having just run out of fuel yards from the finish line

  22. I wonder where they got the idea from, Ferrari perhaps..? I am not totally for or against. But the timing is wired,

    mmmmm .. Iam still wondering…

    Is it because Ferrari can not make a decent pitstop the whole thing has to be banned.

    Just wondering…;)

  23. I’m not sure whether a ban on refuelling will make us having a proper qualifying again. Remember, the post-qualifying parc fermé mandates drivers to qualify with a race-setup, including fuel load.

  24. There was never any need to make qualifying so complex. It was only done because Michael Schumacher had been running away with qualifying and races in a rather dominant and ruthless manner for atleast two years. These days, with the similarly matched drivers in equivalent cars, they can simply have the old qualifying format back and it would solve the problem of different qualifying strategies.

    But then, do you really want to make qualifying boring again? A lot of F1’s thrill is in seeing drivers like Alonso, Webber and Vettel in top spots with their not-so-good cars. This, in turn, makes the starts more exciting and consequently, the race itself. As for refueling itself, I’m quite neutral to the concept. In a way, it allows the superbrains like Brawn to come up with awesome strategies, and at the same time, McLaren’s joke strategies (Silverstone would be a good example).

  25. if they do drop it, there will be cars that just sit behind others the entire race. i don’t think it’ll encourage more overtaking at all.

    i like the strategy aspect to the sport, not just the fastest car, but also a combination of good team work and smart minds to win a race.

  26. Moe, I think that’s going a bit too far to be honest. Personally, I’m not fussed to much either way, there are benefits for both. Qually can be improved just by taking away Q3 race fuel as mentioned in many comments here, but that’s all – no need to ban refuelling alltogether.

    The real issue is preventing the singapore SC lottery. Perhaps all cars can have a reserve fuel tank for safety car periods – has this been proposed before?

  27. Can’t say it’s a totally bad idea , but I am thinking about a car that’s 6 sec’s slower at the start than near the end , could be a bit weird getting use to. As for qualifying with race fuel , I fully see why they do it now , but with next years rules creating better overtaking opportunities , maybe it’s time that got scrapped.

  28. I guess I’m one of the few who like refuelling as it makes a race less predictable and more interesting. The FIA just need to apply common sense to rule making and application, and furthermore streamline the rules although this is easier said than done regarding the latter due to the wonderful brilliant ingenuity and technological developments of the teams.

  29. Its not the fact that we have refueling, that gives us this crazy qualifying system where u put in fuel and qualify with it. That was done by the FIA to try get slower cars up front. Lets not forget, we’ve had refueling for over 13 seasons and drivers could still quality without race fuel for about 10 or 11 of those seasons.

    With a ban on refueling. The cars will be forced to carry 3 times the amount of fuel they usually drive with currently. Thats a lot of fuel to be carrying about. It also increases the risks of a massive inferno if they do crash during a race. While the fuel containment cells they produce now have been very effective till date, it is however easier to build a smaller fuel containment cell than a much bigger one.

    The cars are also going to be much heavier, thats a lot mass that would be moving at great speed.

    F1 is currently a sprint race. Full race fuel will make it and endurance race even if its within a 2hour time limit. The races themselves will
    be run much slower than they are currently run.

    Finally, it will put greater emphasis on the driver, and the team as a whole goes on holiday during the race, only having a role to play if a driver is forced to change a tyre or has a repairable damaged car.

  30. NO WAY.. PLEASE PLEASE NO WAY. Against this 100%. Some of the most exciting parts of this season (and the few gone by) have been during the pit stops. I personally love it when you see teams frantically looking at the weather and wondering what tyres to choose or fuel strategy changes during safety cars etc. Also, isnt it great when you see a heavier car trying to defend its position from a lighter one?

    Finally, im really hoping that this is not an idea being thrown out there because Ferarri cant get their stops right. I think we’ve all had enough of that this year…

    Crazy idea. NO NO NO

  31. Adam – “I personally love it when you see teams frantically looking at the weather and wondering what tyres to choose.” Banning refuelling wouldn’t change that.

    “Isn’t it great when you see a heavier car trying to defend its position from a lighter one?” How often does that ever happen? With the current qualifying rules the light cars qualify at the front and drive away.

    “I’m really hoping that this is not an idea being thrown out there because Ferarri cant get their stops right.” If the other FOTA teams thought that was the case they probably wouldn’t let it go any further.

  32. Kieth. As teams set their fuel levels to coincide with tyre wear I think it will take alot of excitement out. I understand where your coming from but the “Trulli train” the past couple of races has been great too watch as drivers have no choice but to overtake as Trulli has been heavier.

    I just think F1 is fantastic as it is now and i enjoy guestimating strategies and seeing the occasional Mark Webber on the front row running lighter.

    I do think something should be done about this safety car issue though as that its just a joke.
    Thanks for reply

  33. Ethel the Aardvark
    14th October 2008, 18:10

    What goes around, comes around!

    These ideas are always floated every few years or so. What everybody seems to forget is that this is no longer really a sport for the drivers (Safety issues aside). It’s a sport for the paying audience (ie us if Mr Ecclestone allows us to watch it.) Money generation and profit by sponsorship has always been the true game. The sport gets manipulated to bring the money in! Disagree?
    Why a night race? Why?…because most of the rich nations paying for the rights to broadcast are on the otherside of the world…
    Why refuelling? Because if you are old enough to remember, races were predictable…
    Why tyre changes (slicks, no slick and next year slicks again? To slow the cars down (part safety issue to aviod uprating the tracks and avoid moving the watching public away from the circuit) To try to improve overtaking and stopping distances.
    Why change qualifying every few years? To avoid the 30min session being turned into 27mins of pitlane waiting and 3mins of one qualifying effort…
    Why change engine sizes? To slow cars down/improve overtaking, reduce costs? etc

    At the end of the day, they all have one thing in common, to avoid TV audiences dropping and keeping the sponsors and money flowing.

    This idea will be in, out and back in every so many years so in the end…who cares? I don’t.

  34. I don’t know where I stand with this refueling debate. I think if it is done right, and the rules are improved upon year in and year out, the races will be just as exciting.

    Having said that, I think the biggest change that needs to be made is in the F1 management and stewardship. How many time just this year have we seen inconsistent penalties handed out, or outright unfair penalties. Bring in a professional team of race stewards for EVERY race. The same ones for each race. And get past drivers and engineers to take the lead in writing the rules and technical regulations. After all, who could argue the fact that Michael Schumacher has an immense amount of invaluable experience, as well as most other past F1 drivers.

    Currently, I get the impression that the powers that be in F1 are trying to make the rules so strict that every car on the grid will be essentially the same. Although this may make the racing more exciting it would destroy what Formula one is all about: pushing the limits of engineers and drivers while improving the safety on track.

  35. Watching some of the old pre-refuelling clips it often happened that someone would come in for new tyres and chase down the leader who’d stayed out on older ones. This made for exciting racing. I’m all for it to be banned. I can’t get too excited about a team ‘out-strategising’ another and a pass occur in the pits. I’d much rather see it on the track.

  36. Like you said, please please please please please please. :)

    Thanks FOTA for putting forward a great idea. Listen to them FIA.

  37. UsF1Fan
    You got it right. The rules we’ve had in recent years have been made to sort of have a standard looking F1 car.
    The cars all must fall within a certain dimension. First we had that all engines be V10s, then now all engines must be V8s. The engines must have a bore and stroke ratio that is almost square. Then we have all fuel tanks conforming to a certain size, and on and on and on. Matter of fact everything points towards standardization.
    But if F1 is going to be a uniform formula, why don’t they just have the teams race the GP2 cars, its already an order of magnitudes much cheaper than an F1 car and its associated running costs. Then lets see where we will be in a few years time.

  38. I agree with you in qualifying but you don’t need to ban refuelling, just gave freedom to the teams to set the cars with the fuel they consider for the race, after qualifying. So, during qualifying, the fastest driver/car will take the pole.

    If new aerodynamics rules for next year facilitate overtaking, will be great to follow the races with drivers running under different pit-stop strategies.

  39. Race fuel qualifying has to go either way.

    The three session knock-out format is working well but Q3’s fuel rules are just stupid.

    I’d like to see refuelling banned during the race but, as I’ve mentioned before, I think the cars should have a set fuel limit for each race. This could be reduced every couple of years to encourage fuel efficiency.

    It would also remove the need for rev limiters and the engine power reduction measures the FIA would like to bring in as a small reduction in the fuel limit would reduce the top speeds of the cars.

    I’d keep pit-stops though.
    I used to love the race in the pits more before refuelling as there was no time penalty for fuel, the teams just raced to change the tyres.


    ALL THESE PROPOSED RULE CHANGES ARE TAKING AWAY THE HEART OF FORMULA ONE. Leave it as it is…look how great the last couple of seasons have been!!!


  41. Sounds good to me. Imagine a wet/dry qualifying session seeing some of the slower cars start the race up front and watching the drivers try valiantly to hold on to their positions against the established front-runners. Great stuff.

    I’m a little concerned about some of the other suggestions though. Martin Whitmarsh mentioned they’re also discussing shortening races (which I can only imagine is another ‘green’ initiative) and, more worryingly, making Saturday and Sunday ‘a bit less predictable’… Here’s hoping the team bosses care enough about the soul of Formula 1 not to bring in reverse grids or success ballast.

  42. I have never seen a race without refulling, but from the argments many of you make, I must say that I am in favor of banning it. I am concerned with the races becoming too short- can anyone tell us if they have always been about this lenght even before refulling was introduced?

    On one funny note, if refulling is banned, I suppose we will need to wave goodbye to seieng the refulling man for Williams standing out in the Petrobras green and yellow overalls- I always get a kick out of that when the cameras go to a Williams pit stop :)

  43. Ideal world. No refuelling, slick tyres, no aero, V10 engines, no tyre warmers, no limit on the type of compound you can use (i.e 3 sets of hard tyres or 3 super soft) whatever the team decides, pitlane open even under safety car conditions, ban on paddleshift gearboxes and a return to manual ones, new circuits to be designed by more than one designer, atleast one race to be held on a full sized, American style oval, points given for leading laps.
    No more than three night races, no more than one race per country, a prize of $2 million for the racewinner of each race, except the finale where the prize should be $10 million, a cap on drivers salaries, even for frontrunning drivers. $45 million a year is way too much, and the money should come from winning races, salaries should not exceed $2/3 million a year tops.
    No more private plane rides to test tracks such as Jerez and Fiorina, or Paul Ricard. Make the drivers and teams fly on regular, commercial jets, such as Easyjet and Ryanair around Europe.
    A ban on expensive, ludicrously big motorhomes. A complete downsize. The ‘WOW’ factor should be in the pits or to the left of the pitwall, not behind the pits.
    Only the winner allowed on the podium, second and third can celebrate in parc ferme with their teams and sponsors. The theme, WINNING! Winning, winning, winning.
    Vote for the Limit, as new FIA President for 2009. The only whipping you’ll see will be by the drivers, on the track, instead of some dark, seedy London basement. Lets give this sport back to the fans, and show those nasty NASCAR pukes that we mean business.

  44. Yes, Ferrari would love to have refueling banned so they don’t have to worry about their drivers leaving the stalls with the rigs still hooked up.

    They can claim it will reduce costs by no longer requiring the use of the fast-fueling rig too.

  45. Jonesracing82
    15th October 2008, 7:59

    another point u missed Keith!
    in a very safety concious world that F1 is in today, refueling is the most dangerous aspect of the sport today!
    i am all for it also!

  46. Yes, apart from the safety aspect, the cars won’t need a huge fuel cap, the Pit Box will be emptier, there won’t be so many Pit Crew, there will be less for the Teams to carry around, and it will be easier for the Stewards to know how much fuel is in each car.
    Oh, and of course it will get back to real racing, and I for one enjoy the thought that maybe a couple of Teams have misjudged it and the cars run out of fuel before the end of the race….

  47. HounslowBusGarage
    15th October 2008, 10:36

    I tend to agree with Steve W at post #18. I’m not sure which year(s) it was, but once there was a ban on refuelling and a limit on amount of fuel during the turbocar era. As a result there were endless races where the only excitement was to guess which car would run out of fuel first. And while they were all trotting round on economy runs, one of the minnow teams would turn up the boost and get their car to the front in order to show the sponsor’s logo on TV. Good racing it wasn’t!
    So are you suggesting: limited fuel and no-refuelling or unlimited fuel and no refuelling? Change tyres, but no refuelling? No tyre change and no refuelling?

  48. Hounslow – I’ve seen a lot of people make this point, but remember that was over 20 years ago and both turbo engine technology and engine management systems were enormously less sophisticated back then. Even by the last year of the turbos (1988) the problems of cars running out of fuel late in the race were largely sorted. I doubt we’d see anything like the kind of problems they had in 1984, when they first started to limit tank sizes without refuelling.

    So to answer your question: I want no refuelling, limited tank sizes, tyre changes allowed, races remain the same distance.

  49. I disagree with the pit lane thing you mentioned about Kubica, remember that he only won in Canada because Hamilton took Raikkonen and himself out in the pits.

  50. The FIA doesn’t want to discuss getting rid of refuelling. The notes for a forthcoming meeting between Mosley and FOTA read:

    We believe that priority should be given to things which the public cannot see (eg telemetry) rather than visible parts of “the show” (eg refuelling during the race).

    How typical that Mosley should refuse even to discuss something that would contribute to his cost-saving goals and do much to improve racing in F1. More proof, if it were needed, that he is not interested in consultation, merely in dictating his own terms.

  51. schumi the greatest
    15th October 2008, 12:20

    After reading everyones comments, im still un decided. It would definitley bring alot more responsibility to the driver to look after the tyres etc.

    ive read so many times about prost making late charges during races to win because he’d saved his tyres earlier in the race. i suppose that sort of thing would be happening alot.

    but like i said originally, just get rid of race fuel qualifying and id be pretty happy whether refuelling was banned or not.

  52. schumi the greatest
    15th October 2008, 12:22

    keith, where did you read this?

    mosley is a ******* ******

  53. STG – Sorry thought I’d posted a link. It’s in the Times.

  54. Ive never seen any season or race without refueling so i have no idea on this one

  55. Carrying fuel for full race distance is just as dangrous as refuelling during the race.

    Here is a reminder of what fuel + fire =

  56. As a newer fan to F1, coming from NASCAR I can say I thoroughly enjoy F1 qualifying. I respect that F1 is and needs to be different and I love watching the strategy unfold in qualifying and the race. Refueling is and should not be an issue. IT NEEDS TO STAY!

  57. I love F! and am a true fan!!! Hamilton Rocks!!!!
    But refuelling and race strategy are what makes the races fun, especially when teams such as ferrari get it really wrong, allowing torro rosso and force india cars half a chance at podiums, If u take away the refuelling then the fastest car will always win and it will be as dull as the old days!!!

  58. Can somebody please confirm for me that refuelling during a race is not currently compulsary? If it was such a bad thing (teams losing out on points on a regular basis in particular) the teams wouldn’t do it, they would put larger tanks in their cars and not stop all race.

    I am definitely against the ban on refuelling because it lessens the impact the team has on the outcome of a race – not only the pit crew who do the refuelling, but the strategists who pick the best time to come in and refuel.

    I am old enough to remember the boring mid-race stints where nothing was happening . At least now you get people on different strategies pitting at different times, feeding out amongst others who have either already stopped or are yet to stop.

    Something does need to be done about the safety car rules and the qualifying though.

  59. Refueling is not compulsory, it’s just a good idea. If you must stop to change tires at least once, you might as well fill up on fuel at the same time, since you are allowed to do so- carrying more fuel than needed to get to the tire change is dead weight.

  60. I don’t think this rule would be fair on the back runners as it would make it harder for them to gain places which is important. The higher places mean more funding and sponsorship for teams and it all balances out in the end because everyone is relying on tactics with refueling. To take this away would be devastating to a lot of teams. It would also mean larger fuel tanks with longer lap times and more other problems like cars having to work harder and not getting enough air due to slower speeds and more brake pad wearing due to extra weight. If they want to do something help the lower teams with a little funding I know there is plenty of it out there.

  61. This one goes to Schumacher the Greatest

    Overtaking idea

    So, I have been thinking about this crazy idea for a while…

    One of my favorite races this year was the Turkey race. Having Lewis forced to do a 3-stop strategy while most of the field was on a standard 2-stop completely changed the dynamics of the race.

    So I got to thinking… most of the rules and regs are pretty arbitrary anyway, what if there was a coin toss, per race that relegated 1/3 (or less) of the field to one strategy, after first qualifying on another strategy.

    so the process works like this… with a 67% chance of getting it right you run a quali lap with race fuel… and start on the grid in that order… then a random coin-toss assigns 33% of the cars to an “n-stop” strategy… so you either get the standard 2-stop or you are forced to do a 3-stop (or 1-stop) AND you then get to choose your fuel load while the rest of the grid sticks with the qualifying fuel loads.

    think about the mayhem! but also, think about the cars running light (very light!) slicing through the field.

    am I nuts or would this make for interesting racing? or would it be too gimmicky?

  62. Okay I am feeling a little bleak about the future of F1. As an “F1 Fanatic” I have taken time to understand the rules and the changes over the years and feel that anyone that is really interested in the sport would also do the same. To make it easier for viewers to understand suggests we are aiming F1 at everyone as opposed to targeet audiences. People that have a passion for F1 will understand the rules regardless of how complicated they are. Those that find it complicated are usually not that interested and are only interested in it for the glamour that it brings.

    Also I feel that the likes of McLaren, Ferrari and BMW have worked hard for years to get to where they are now only to have rules brought in to bring teams, that have not been able to compete quite the same, to the same level.

    Hmmm lets see how 2009 works. Personally I am not so optimistic. But prepared to accept if I am wrong.


  63. I remember the days of no pit stops and the long procession that started from the green flag and was only ended by the chequered flag.

    By removing fuel stops, all cars will be on the same fuel through qualifying and from the start. Meaning that the slow cars will be at the back and the fast car will be at the front of the grid. With the exceptions of a few dives down to the first corner this will entirely eliminate all overtaking. Taking F1 back to the dull days. At least now with pit stops and varying strategies it is possible for some of the lower end teams to mix it up a little. F1 is more than the driver or the car it is about team work and strategy. We should not lose site of this

  64. Keep refuelling. It’s wonderful that F1 is a true team sport- the strategy is half the fun! As for Q3, I also believe that raceload isn’t a fair reflection of driving ability but it’s part of the tactics too. A quick first stint from a slower car will invariably lead to a slower one later. This ultimately leads to more action on the track.

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