#F1 Teams vote to scrap the return of refuelling

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Fortis

Following the recent meeting of the F1 Strategy Group, one of the main talking points afterwards was the proposed return of refuelling in 2016. It it believed that Bernie Ecclestone/Donald Mackenzie proposed the idea as part of their big plan to spice up the F1 show. However common sense has prevailed and the refuelling idea will now be dropped.

Thursday’s at a GP weekend sees a pre-race gathering of team managers and Adam Cooper is reporting that there was no support shown yesterday for the return of refuelling. They main reason for the Team Principals wanting to abandon the proposal is because it would have an adverse effect on the races, thus ruining the ‘show’.

Interestingly, the cost of the refuelling equipment was not a significant  consideration despite the fact this was estimated at £1million per team in the first year, and then £500,000 a year thereafter.

The killer blow was the data presented by the teams’ strategists from 2009 – the last year of refuelling – and from 2010. Following the refuelling ban there were twice as many overtaking moves on track in 2010 as in the previous year. And this was before DRS was introduced.

 Christian Horner questioned the surprise refuelling proposal when talking to Sky’s Ted Kravitz in Monaco,

I tend not to agree with it. We got rid of refuelling for a reason, it didn’t make the races interesting,” he told Sky Sports F1.

You’ve got a lot of new people in that Strategy Group who haven’t been around all that long. If you cast your mind back to races where there was refuelling, they weren’t that exciting – you just timed the pitstop, you either went shorter or longer [in the stint], and that dictated your strategy.

The issue of safety was also of concern. To prevent widespread overtaking in the pits, the teams had insisted any return of refuelling should see the fuel delivered in the same amount of time as a current pit stop for tyres. The fuel flow rate required to achieve this would be a massive 33 litres per second as opposed to the 12 lps when refuelling was last part of F1.

Charlie Whiting will now report these findings back to the Strategy Group when they next meet. However with unanimous opposition from the team principals against the return of refuelling, it is now highly unlikely that the FIA will vote with Ecclestone and against the teams on this issue.

This consigns refuelling to the graveyard of F1 bright ideas, along with standing restarts following a safety car period and double points for certain races.

16 responses to “#F1 Teams vote to scrap the return of refuelling

    • I would assume that it revolves around acquisition cost as well as developing a fuel delivery system that’s fast enough to keep stops to the same times as they are now.

  1. Yet another success for the strategy group. In the past the change would have been steamrollered through and any misgivings ignored.

    Teams 1 – Bernie 0

  2. Nice work Fortis.
    As I predicted, refueling is bunk.
    This was all about Michelin. Now that it looks like Pirelli is staying, and they will continue to make tires that only last 50km, there is no need for refueling.

    What really baffles me, is how every article across the interwebs talks about “the teams” and “the strategy group” as if they are different people.
    The whole refueling idea came out of the big Strategy Group meeting a few weeks ago.
    It was all the talk, how the SG brought back refueling to improve the show. So the Teams (along with bernie and FIA) propose this idea, and send it to themselves. Now the teams have decided its a terrible idea, and they are going to send the proposal back to themselves (the Strategy Group), to be denied.

    What the F*#K!
    Why isn’t anyone calling them out on this?
    It’s so frustrating.

    • Go TourDog! Write an article based on that analysis! That would be brilliant. I’m already LOL’ing at it. Even better would be a flow chart in which all decision trees eventually wind up with do nothing. Hahahaha I might have to do it if you won’t

    • There was a meeting of the strategy group. The group is composed of the teams, FIA and FOM/CVC/Bernie.
      The refuelling suggestion came from CVC (source BBC).
      Everyone involved had the opportunity to think about the various suggestions made at the meeting.
      The teams have voted against it.
      The teams involved in the strategy group are not all of the teams racing in F1.
      Your theory doesn’t hold water.

      • Right, but the teams (6 of them anyway) were AT THE SG meeting. The reports after the meeting were that refueling was back on the table. There was NO reporting that anyone was against it. The only “dissent” was Toto saying that they would have to look into costs.
        THEY ALREADY KNOW THE COSTS.
        The teams didn’t come out, right after the meeting, and say”we’re looking into it, and we will decide”. No everyone was acting as though it was going to happen.
        Yes, I know it was all a sham to cover for the possible tire change, but NO ONE even bothered to question any of the teams as to why they didn’t just fight it when it was proposed.

        And BTW..
        “The teams have voted against it.”
        when exactly did that vote take place? there has been no official meeting, just an “un-official pre-race gathering” of an unidentified number of the teams.
        What the F is that?
        Is this the greatest racing series on the planet, or a group of cub scouts voting on which cookies to steal from the girls?

        • The subject was discussed by the team managers and the FIA at a gathering of the Sporting Working Committee, where the other key item on the agenda was refuelling (see separate story.

          From Adam Coopers Blog. These would apparently be committees that report back to Strategy Group where decisions are permanently put off, LOL. BTW these would be the 2016 tyre rules that had everyone excited for half a second. Now not happening. At least for the moment.

    • There was a TJ13 article immediately following the SG meeting explaining refuelling was never on the agenda. TJ13 speculated it was a Todt/Michelin idea – or one from FOM

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