Refueling back on the F1 agenda for 2017, says Todt

Fri Jan 15, 2016 12:30pm EST
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By Alan Baldwin

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Formula One has performed a U-turn and put mid-race refueling, banned in 2010 and voted against by teams only last year, back on the discussion agenda among other proposed changes for 2017.

International Automobile Federation (FIA) president Jean Todt told Reuters on Friday that refueling, dropped for reasons of cost and safety, would be discussed at a meeting of the sport's core Strategy Group in Geneva on Monday.

"We (will) re-address (the subject of) is it right not to have refueling?," he said.

Formula One is currently discussing ways to make cars faster, louder and more aggressive-looking in what has been billed as a rules revolution for 2017 to improve the show and make it more exciting for fans and drivers alike.

The idea of bringing back refueling had stemmed from a desire to increase engine horsepower, which would require more fuel and either bigger tanks or the chance to put more in during the race.

The topic appeared to have been ruled out last year when the Strategy Group decided refueling would not improve the show and would only increase costs at a time when some teams were struggling financially.

Todt suggested the objections could be overcome, however.

He said technology had improved since the days when highly inflammable fuel was pumped under pressure into a racing car with red-hot exhausts and brakes in a pitlane overlooked by spectators.   Continued...

FIA President Jean Todt (R) speaks to the media during an event about Action for Road Safety next to Luis Alberto Moreno (not pictured) of the Inter-American Development Bank outside the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit in Mexico City, Mexico October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Henry Romero