Todt seeks return of refuelling


Last seen in F1 in 2010, refuelling during within races was scrapped for reasons of safety and costs.

However, speaking ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix, FIA president, Jean Todt admitted that he would like to see its reintroduction to the sport.

"Personally, I would like to see refuelling," he told reporters, "but I am happy to see a study on the positives and negatives.

"Cars are probably becoming a bit too heavy," he continued, a view shared by many of the drivers, and expressed by Sebastian Vettel just hours earlier. "That is something we discussed.

"I am pushing for analysing what it would mean if we reintroduced refuelling because if you reintroduce refuelling then you will have lighter cars at the start of the race and you can have smaller cars.

"I'm happy to have a very good investigation, with a plus and minus which we will do," he said.

Other than the safety issues, Todt's call comes at a time the sport is seeking to bring down costs, and the reintroduction of refuelling would clearly go against this.

"Sometimes I hear that it will be more expensive and honestly it makes me smile," said the Frenchman. "When I see the size of the motorhomes, I don't think that it's really the price which will be a killer."

In 2015, the Strategy Group discussed the possible reintroduction of refuelling, which at the time was widely seen, by drivers and fans, in a negative light because they felt it made the racing processional, drivers using fuel stop strategy to pass rivals rather than overtaking

When the move was officially given the red light, Force India's deputy team principal Bob Fernley admitted: "The view collectively was that it's not going to improve the show and the decision was not to go forward with that."

Todt also referred to the cost of the behind-the-scene technicians that have become de rigueur since the sport restricted testing.

"Day and night people are putting gear-boxes and engines on simulator facilities," he said. Then you have forty, fifty, sixty people in the factory analysing. I think it's not something we need."

What is odd is that Todt, a keen environmentalist, has previously made clear that he does not want to see the sport go backwards, and is seeking to move further away from the internal combustion and more towards electric power.

Furthermore, a move back to refuelling would fly in the face of the superb job the manufacturers and the sort have done in terms of fuel efficiency since the new formula was introduced in 2014.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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Published: 13/07/2019
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