British Grand Prix – FIA President Jean Todt says he thinks Formula One should reintroduce refuelling, a practice which has been banned for a decade.
Speaking to assembled journalists at the British GP at Silverstone, FIA President Jean Todt outlined his views on refuelling as a possible rule changes for 2021. Refuelling has been banned in Formula 1 since the end of 2009, with races thus beginning with the cars topped up with enough fuel for the entire race distance. As a result, the cars have had to get bigger, heavier and more cumbersome.
Todt says a switch back to refuelling would allow for car designs to become lighter and would also open the avenue of differing strategies again.
“Cars are probably becoming a bit too heavy,” said Todt.
“I am pushing for analysing what it would mean if we reintroduced refuelling. Because if you reintroduce refueling then you will have lighter cars at the start of the race, and you can have smaller cars.”
The dangers of refuelling are known, but incidents involving fire have been exceptionally rare, but very conspicuous.
One of the key arguments against refuelling has been the cost of designing and transporting fuel rigs, but Todt didn’t have much time for that line of thought: “Sometimes I hear that it will be more expensive and honestly it makes me smile,” said Todt.
“When I see the size of the motorhomes, I don’t think that it’s really the price which will be a killer.
“We should go for refuelling. But then I’m happy to have a very good investigation, with a plus and minus which we will do.”
The rule changes, both sporting and technical, are yet to be decided upon for 2021, with the proposed release of the rules scheduled for October. The rules were scheduled to be announced over the course of this summer, but were pushed back with more negotiations and decisions to be made.