F1 refueling return depends on cost, says Wolff

Sat May 16, 2015 4:17am EDT
 
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - The proposed return of refueling to Formula One in 2017 will only happen if it is affordable, according to Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.

The move, announced by the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Friday, has received a mixed reaction.

Some observers have questioned why something banned for cost reasons in 2010 was being reintroduced at a time when smaller teams are again feeling the pinch and seeking savings.

"Refueling was banned because of cost and because the pit stops were taking too long," Wolff told the BBC.

"But we want to re-explore it and see if we can make pit stops for fuel and tires happen in the same time it takes to change the tires now -- two to three seconds," added the Austrian.

"We have agreed to explore this avenue and the cost involved because it could be spectacular. If it's too expensive, we won't do it."

The main cost of refueling involves transporting heavy equipment around the world and the extra personnel required to handle it.

There are also safety considerations in pumping fuel into cars in a crowded pit lane in a matter of seconds, with the risk of flare-ups.   Continued...

 
Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff smiles in the garage during the second practice session of the Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi November 21, 2014. REUTERS/Caren Firouz