Refuelling coming back to F1?

Recently, as part of discussions about 2021 F1 rules, the FIA President Jean Todt brought up the possibility of bringing back refuelling. This is a very controversial part of racing but one that some fans really love.

Back in The Day

A lot of people look back to the old days and say things were more exciting when refuelling was allowed. The cars could race lighter, there were tactics around fuelling stops just like there still are around tyre use and changes. Yes, Schumacher used to use some cunning moves to get the drop on people with pit stops but just because it happened then doesn’t mean it would happen now. There were certainly a lot of moves made and running out of fuel did add another layer of excitement in a sport that many say is seriously lacking it at the moment.

The Dangers

There is simply no getting away from the fact that refuelling adds danger to racing, and not in a good way. Refuelling isn’t the same as faster corner speeds, or less downforce. It’s just a huge fire risk during a process that is not much fun to watch.

The Drivers

It does seem that a number of drivers are interested in bringing back refuelling. Often, the reasons are based around the fact that with less need to manage fuel the drivers can push harder and race more. Ultimately, the drivers are also just hoping to be able to run lighter cars because…well they love to race and they love to go fast.

The Reality

Whilst there is no doubt the cars would be running lighter and drivers could potentially push harder, the modern F1 world is very different in terms of the data available to teams since refuelling was in place. There is a rose tinted ideal that refuelling will lead to the unknown, gambles that don’t pay off, big upsets etc. But the reality is that with the kind of processing power each team is packing these days, they will be able to predict fuel use to the second, while other teams will be watching pit stops to calculate fuel volumes and be planning stops off the back of the data. It may bring back some action but the constant drive to win by the teams will no doubt mean any gaps are soon plugged and the racing goes back to how it was before.

Handling Fuel

While we may not have mid-race refuelling, if you do any kind of racing at all you will find yourself handling fuel. We offer a range of fire suppression systems that are needed to race in MSA and FIA competitions, but are also very important for any kind of motorsport including non-competitive events such as track days. Please get in touch to ask about how we can make your refuelling safer!

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