Refueling F1 for the future…literally

According to BBC Sport’s Mr. Benson, the FIA have released a statement outlining a few of the changes the F1 Strategy Group worked on in its meeting on Thursday. Among them is the return of refueling in the series which was banned originally for cost-cutting and safety measures.

The impossible task of pleasing everyone is alive an well as immediate reaction by some fans centered on the notion that returning to refueling is not improving on-track action so much as simply increasing the tactical passing in the pits due to lengthier stops to refuel.

The article also states that louder, more powerful engines and higher revs will return with cars that are five to six seconds faster per lap.

We discussed the Michelin interest in returning as a supplier earlier this week but included in the possible changes is the option each team will have to choose one of four compounds on offer at each race.

What do you think? Make the pit stops more impacting via refueling? Choice of tire for the race instead of being forced to use two compounds? Louder, faster cars? Is this the solution?

Hat Tip: BBC Sport

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Bacon Wrapped Sushi

Frankly, I’m thrilled! I’m amazed that out of this entire meeting CRITICAL things were actually agreed upon! First off: I want refueling back too. I know it is expensive, and I know there are risks, but there is a certain excitement about an extra layer of strategy. Also, there is a side benefit, thanks to the ability to refuel, we SHOULD have less incidents of a tire not being bolted on properly, as there will be a couple of seconds of more room for the mechanics to work in. Second: The ability for teams to choose what dry compound to… Read more »

Tom Firth – The full statement is here. Most of the release if I’m honest, right now I can’t have an opinion on. It isn’t that I aren’t interested, it is just too early in the development to understand the impact, what does more aggressive looks mean, or higher revving engines, or aerodynamic evolution / wider tyres. I need more specifics of these before I can say whether i feel this is the right path for F1. The free choice of two compounds is a good move, I like that one. As for re-fuelling, personally I’m very indifferent about it myself.… Read more »


I am not sure how things are over there but here going to the gas station is the height of excitement. Sometimes I will spend a whole Saturday watching people fuel up!

Tom Firth

In Ye Olde England, the height of excitement is seeing the steam train! ;-)


New fangled devices, they will never catch on. Man cannot survive above fifteen miles per hour.


Refueling would add to the spectacle if the drivers had to get out, run into the garage (take their helmet off – can’t wear them in the fuel shop), stand jn a queue, order a coffee and pie, pay (card or cash), pick up some barbecue briquettes / milk / flowers, back in the car , coffee in the holder, helmet and belts on, remember the wallet and keys are on the roof (sidepod), bsck out of the car, etc etc,
Now that would be really ‘road relevant’


I currently reading My Racing Life by Stirling Moss. There are many pictures of him out of the car with a fuel churn in his hands as he helps to refuel. This is in F1 as well as sports cars. He also got out of the car to take a drink at pit stops.


Multi-tasking involved a different set of skills back in Stirling’s day.
That would be a great read, from what I’ve heard about him racing in his hayday was alot less corporate than it is now. I’ll bet it wasn’t a can of energy drink he was sculling either.


No energy drink, it appears a pint of milk or a bottle of coke was Stirling’s drink of choice. For the 1955 Mille Miglia, Fangio offered Moss and Jenks a pill to help them through the race. Stirling took his, and stayed alert not just for the 10 hours 7 minutes and 28 seconds of the race, but enabled him to drive 400 miles to Stuttgart, overnight, have a meeting with Mercedes directors and then drive back to England, all without sleep. DSJ refused to take his pill, but had it analysed in England where the chemists couldn’t identify the… Read more »


It must have been a mighty powerful stimulant, so no need for energy drinks to perk him up.
I’ll bet Mercedes wished Hamilton had taken one of those tablets, so he could have sorted his contract out a bit quicker.


Thanks for the link, I should read that before commenting…………. but that might infect my opinions with facts. ;-)

Joe Mama

I think doing away with refueling is one of the smartest things F1 ever did, and I hate to see them undo it. It may add a degree of complexity to the racing strategy, but it also adds hugely to the already considerable general hazard of the pit lane. Then again, I’m one of those guys who thinks canopies are a great idea, and can’t come soon enough…but that’s a whole other shouting match. As for the other stuff though, bring it on! Louder, faster, more challenging cars are the soul of F1. The blend of tire restrictions and the… Read more »

The Captain

At this point, they’re just throwing cats against the wall in a panic and seeing what sticks aren’t they. I had to read the Autosport article twice to make sure I was seeing that correctly, a return to fueling? ughhh NO! Re-fueling works for me in WEC because its a 6-24 hour race and long term strategy is a big part, that and in 6-24 hours you have to refuel even to do that, so it makes sense. F1 is supposed to be a sprit race. The cars can hold all the fuel they need. This is just an artificial… Read more »

Mike W

The safety argument on refueling seemed kinda moot to me. I think safety was given as an excuse to remove refueling in an attempt to improve the show and remove one of the pit lane variables to make the show more understandable for the casual fan. But lowly IndyCar has the whole refueling thing figured out. They keep a man over the wall who controls a deadman valve to shut off fuel flow in case of accident, they keep a man over the wall manning a fire extinguisher and spray the fuel buckeye before the car leaves pitlane, and the… Read more »

Joe Mama

NASCAR had a pit lane fire on April 24th that sent 3 people to the hospital. In NASCAR the fueling is done at the back of the car, away from the engine, outside of chassis-shielding bodywork. In F1 it’s done in the middle of the car over a cooking engine compartment next to a nice hot set of brakes and uphill from the exhaust manifold exit, not to mention being near the open cockpit with a driver buckled in, facing the other way. On top of that, we are now in the era of high voltage ERS systems… Moot, huh?… Read more »

manny petty

I agree with Mike W. The only serious incident in F1 involving refueling was over 20 years ago (Benetton pit fire)! And despite that sensational blaze, no one was seriously hurt thanks to the crew’s fire-resistant suits. Since then, there were a handful of occassions when cars took off before the fuel hose was released, but the safety measures in place worked every time and no fire ensued. Refueling adds a nice strategic element by allowing teams to drive with different fuel loads and hence employ different race strategies. That said, the only way refueling will be successful is if… Read more »

David Hudson

The only thing that will bring back F1 is if the manufacturers take a hike and take that ridiculous pu with them. But I would like to thank the strategy group for allowing me to have a pleasant Sunday for the foreseeable future.


I think we all want F1 to get closer to a sprint race type of format. Refueling and smaller fuel loads will bring more pit stops, faster lap times, and even technology innovation that is relevant to all cars. Bring it!

#F1 'o^°o-

I don’t think we all want that format.
Jennie gow from sky did a pole a no refueling won 59% to 41%


Refuelling will reduce the action on the track, so the excitement will shift from the track to the pits. The number of overtakes in F1 reduced darmatically since the introduction of refuelling in 1994 until 2009 and raised again a lot since the ban on refuelling in 2010 (even before DRS and Pirelli tyres) so do the math, it will drop again despite DRS. So I think it will lead to less overtaking, less excitement on the track and thus less fans watching. The only thing that will improve racing is having more or less equal cars, and different weights… Read more »

Joseph Simmons

Overall, I really the F1 regulation proposals for 2016/2017 especially refueling, tyre selection, and the increased lap times goal 5-6 seconds! As stated in a previous comment, god forbid we mention Indy/CART car or NASCAR, these series have been able to conduct routine pit stops including tyre changes and refueling for years. I would suggest moving to few pit crew members to man the car. The use of a hydraulic system which would eliminate the front and rear jack man. And use 4 tyre changers with 2 crew members for refueling the car. Also, I do remember the McLaren with… Read more »


Wow, F1 fans are as bad as F1 teams in their ability to never agree on anything! If you left it to fan consensous the rules would never change. Re-fuelling may have its negatives but it helps fix so many of the current problems. The drivers will be going flat out the whole time which is a big plus and it works great with the hybrid technology as those with good electric power can go longer on less fuel or do 1 less stop which will help mix up strategy and provide a point to having the electric technology in… Read more »


For the show? It all works. For the technological advancement of the sport – the ability of the drivers/machine mix to prove itself (ie fair competition) – nothing. NASCAR has the entertainment (dumbed-down) spectacle right… why does F1 want to mimic them? Same engine size, same dimensions, same… well, pretty much everything. And now, let’s throw in another “exciting” event… bah humbug.

#F1 'o^°o-

Not happy about refueling there are too many variables to destroy a drivers race, look what happened to Massa in Singapore 2008 it pretty much cost him the Championship.
I bet Ross Brawns phone was ringing off the hook today since he was a master refueling strategist.
Wider rear tires i agree with, wider cars also needed. Faster louder cars excellent.
I’m guessing they didn’t cut wind tunnels or much cost savings no news on that.

_@canuck _

Not happy about refueling there are too many variables to destroy a drivers race, look what happened to Massa in Singapore 2008 it pretty much cost him the Championship.
I bet Ross Brawns phone was ringing off the hook today since he was a master refueling strategist.
Wider rear tires i agree with, wider cars also needed. Faster louder cars excellent. 
I’m guessing they didn’t cut wind tunnels or much cost savings no news on that.


Ok… Ok lets not get too excited. Let’s see all the regulation changes before we get excited. Personally (and this is only my take on things) I think that changes in the engine regs are a very big red herring. The engines as we speak are close to 1000 hp when we include the energy recovery systems and they are very fragile. I would like to know if fans think that by freeing up the regulations to make more revs that they would be come more reliable….. Just a question. The big problem we face is the aero and tires…… Read more »

Negative Camber

Just got back in town and am catching up on comments. You all have some really great logic and mental threads going here about pro’s and cons. Mainly on refueling, because that’s what this article is about, but I’m wondering what you all think about the tire compound choice issue. I know it’s not mentioned much in this article as I did this before the official statement came out. I’ll be honest, there are good pro’s and cons for refueling and I tend to say why not try it if it gets he teams running flat out. On the other… Read more »


Will we see the effective return of a qualifying tyre? With team’s picking the super soft to set a time on Saturday and a more appropriate compound for the Sunday. Even if they need to start on the tyre they qualified on, it could still be an advantage to run a handful of laps at the front before changing to a better race tyre. I would much rather see drivers have to choose a single compound to run in both qualifying and the race. Teams could identify a choice of two that they wish to try before the race weekend… Read more »


Haven’t we been having refueling every lap since ERS came in? If the hydrocarbons have to be replenished too, They need to find away that the cars can scoop up some petrol while on track, at fullspeed, That would add drama and tactical interest. (I’m thinking refueling drones, or scoop troughs inthe track) On the tyres. One tyre type for the race? It has some impact in motoGP and WSB, but more often than not the front runners are all on the same combination. In F1 the car would be optimised for a single tyre type, rather than being compromised… Read more »