The refuelling ban a year on

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    Before the season we all discussed if the refuelling ban was good/bad but now we’ve seen it in action and how strategy plays out what do you think of it? How should the new Pirelli’s be made to influence strategy in the refuelling ban era?


    Red Andy

    The refuelling ban has taken the strategic element totally out of racing. What we have seen this season isn’t “strategy,” it’s just teams reacting to whoever happens to be behind them and going faster. Whether or not that’s a good thing is down to the individual, though I think pit strategies always complemented the racing rather than competed with it.

    But going forward, I’d like to see the mandatory pit stop ditched and the teams given freedom of choice over their tyre compounds. That would give more variety in strategies and hopefully stop this game of “Who blinks first…Okay, now EVERYBODY BLINK IMMEDIATELY” that we’ve had this year.



    This season wouldn’t have been epic like this one had refuelling not been banned. The spectrum of strategy options is much smalled now, which may not please the engineers very much, but I think it was much better for us the fans.

    Long gone are the days were pole positions weren’t so worthy because Driver X had much less fuel on board than Driver Y in a faster car. Long gone are the days were drivers got stuck behind people on different strategies and had a potential points finish/podium/victory ruined by strategy. I think the sport is all about the faster driver/car combination winning, and there is only two ways of ensuring it happens: when all teams use the same tyres and race with the same fuel loads.

    Action-wise, it couldn’t have been better. Even though drivers can get trapped behind another driver for 50 laps, he knows that he has to push otherwise he won’t gain that position. There is not that “wait until he stops” thing anymore. Also, I think it is much easier for non-fanatic followed to understand the races. Back in the refuelling days, would the casual-viewer understand how Rubens fell from 1st to 6th at Nurburgring, for an example? I doubt so. Today it is much easier to understand the “real” driver positions even when they get shuffled after some drivers stop.

    About Pirelli, I don’t think they should influence “strategy”. They shall just provide a tyre that last a few laps, thus influencing the “racing”.



    The only thing that can help F1 even more now is too ban tyre stops in SC periods. They should make it so they can only come into the pits on the same lap that the SC is coming in.

    Then it would be perfect, I do miss refuelling though. Even if it was a set limit of fuel at the start of the race the added pressure of getting the fuel in would be great. I miss the days when Massa dragged his fuel hose down the pitlane at Singapore…Good times

    Oh and Guilherme, this season was so good because of Red Bull’s mistakes, they could’ve wrapped up the title by Suzuka but average drivers stopped that from happening.



    “They should make it so they can only come into the pits on the same lap that the SC is coming in.”

    Yeah, if you want to see the death of a mechanic…

    Sorry but the pit stops have been chaotic enough this year. I doubt they would do that.



    Two things stop the refuelling ban from working properly. First is the way the teams supposedly start the race with their cars too light on fuel to finish, having to do 20 or so laps of fuel saving. I want to see cars able to race from lights to flag. Therefore, the cars should have a minimum weight at the start of the race that includes enough fuel to get to the finish.

    Second is the mandatory tyre change. Forcing the teams to change tyres and use both compounds is rubbish. The drivers should be able to choose a compound for the race and soft tyres should allow the driver to gain a lead and pit for new ones, whereas hard tyres should do a race distance.



    I think the refuelling ban has produced some brilliant racing, with the drivers being forced to make more moves on the track, or switching strategies (i.e. pitting early) to get the advantage, then suffering later on.

    However, certainly the ridiculous tyre rules have made the affect of the refuelling ban far less easy to appreciate and in fact in some races have negated the ban completely (i.e. ones like abu dhabi where the pitstop was made because it was mandatory rather than because it was needed).

    If the tyres go off quicker and some different compounds are available (along with no requirement for a mandatory pit stop) then the racing would be epic.

    Oh and button would be doing rather well methinks too :p


    Fer no.65

    I think it got out of the way one of the variables in motorsport. Specially, the fuel adjusted qualifing.

    Don’t see how it “improved the show”, because we had a lot of things going on with the cars designs we’ve not seen before, like the F-duct, the blown difussers and that sort of thing.

    But I see it as a good thing. No refuelling is better IMO.

    Tho I think it’d be better if drivers were allowed to do the full distance without stopping, and a bigger difference between the softs and the hards…


    F1 2010 was epic for a number of reasons and no-refuelling played a big role in that in my opinion.



    The ban on re-fuelling has been a success. We’ve seen as much if not more position changes and far more on track. Fuel strategies worked because track position is so important in F1 and since we should be looking to reduce that factor, bringing back fuel stops isn’t a necessity. I do miss the cleverness of going a bit longer and then doing 4 brilliant laps on low fuel to overtake a faster opponent, but that died when race-fuel qualifying was introduced.

    The problem is the tyre rules because they kill contrary strategies. If you start on the primes, not only do you start further back, but everyone in front on the options will set faster times and then when they pit for tyres you might have track position, but they will have fresher tyres and within a few laps be faster again.

    Ditch the tyre rules and make the tyres more extreme. That way some will gamble on track position but have to make a stop and others will be slow at first but not have to stop and be at full speed when others are having to heat up new tyres.

    When aero stops killing F1, we can bring back re-fuelling, but only in the old style where you decide after you have your grid position.


    Ned Flanders

    Agree with Mr Geoffrey

    Edit: Hang on, turns out I misread Mr Geoffrey’s comment… actually, I completely disagree! I think this was a great season but it had very little to do with the refuelling ban



    I totally agree with the fact that F1 should now get rid of the mandatory tyres change. Teams should be allowed to change tyres has many time as they want or none at all. Then we would see some real overtaking between cars on hard and others on soft. The refuelling ban was only one step in the right direction.



    I would like to see a move towards how Moto GP does it, with a maximum amount of fuel allowed (Its something like 16 or 20 litres, but im not sure).

    You would mandate this amount of fuel so that the cars have enough to make the end of the race (or at least they’d have the same).

    However with the engine freeze at the moment this is unfortuantly a bit rubbish, as you would want the engine suppliers to work on their engines to improve the MPG (or the power output per unit of fuel). This would tick the box of being Green and improve the racing in my opinion, because of the different amounts of power availible for the race.

    E.G. A powerful but fuel hungry Ferrari racing a more efficient but less powerful Renault engine.



    I agree, I guess it shows that they’re just “going green” to get on the bandwagon and look good rather than actually doing anything about it.



    It was a good season but I didn’t like the idea of refuelling ban.One thing that they should do is to stop the idea of mandatory tyre stop.Let the teams & drivers decide whether they will need to stop or not.

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