On the 14th May 2015 Formula One’s Strategy Group met to discuss the future of Formula One and vote on the possibility of implementing new rules and regulations in order to help shape the future of Formula One.
One idea to come out of the meeting, was the possibility of introducing refuelling in 2017, which initially, was hailed for a welcome return between drivers and fans, however the teams - who would have to finance refuelling - have come made their views known in Canada.
The idea of reintroducing refueling was to improve both the “spectacle” and also performance of Formula One in the future - the concentration on 2017 and beyond. The idea behind performance is that the cars would be lighter in the race, as they would be holding less fuel at the start or opening stages of a race compared to now where drivers start with a full tank of petrol which has to last the entire race. The spectacle of refueling originates more to the danger presented by refueling in a race, where in 2008 we seen Felipe Massa driving for Ferrari set off too early taking his refueling hose with him.
Since the announcement of the idea though, teams have been very skeptical of the idea and every team has conducted an effective feasibility study into the idea, the results of which, don't bode well for the possible return of refueling in Formula One.
A meeting has been held with team managers and Charlie Whiting (the FIA Race Director) at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the eve of the Canadian Grand Prix. It is believed at this meeting teams were able to express their concerns over the idea and also present their findings into the possible return of refueling in Formula One.
The teams feel refueling doesn't add to the spectacle of Grand Prix racing and it would do more the opposite, however surely that is for fans to decide if it would detract from the sport rather than make racing more exciting. The study also suggested that overtaking improved in 2010, due to the ban on refuelling, however to balance the argument here as well, of course on track over taking would improve, if drivers spend less time in the pits.
Finally and more importantly to teams and more relevant to Formula One’s current crisis is the potential increase in cost that refueling could pose. Is it the right thing to do, to impose refuelling which means more containers of equipment to transport, more personnel to employ and more equipment to buy at a time when F1 is trying to make savings in any area possible?