Cautious reaction to no refueling

The latest proposal in the way of rule changes, that of banning refueling between qualifying and race, has so far been met with a cautious reaction. It will certainly make teams rethink their strategies; the decision will be whether to run a light...

The latest proposal in the way of rule changes, that of banning refueling between qualifying and race, has so far been met with a cautious reaction. It will certainly make teams rethink their strategies; the decision will be whether to run a light fuel load and get a good qualifying time, or run heavy, risking a lower grid position, and get a longer first run in the race.

"It throws up a situation which is unique to the sport," said McLaren's David Coulthard, on BBC radio. "We have always qualified with more fuel than we needed. The strategy that we use in qualifying will change significantly because, in the past, it was always about getting good lap times to get grid positions."

"Now you have to make a decision about where you want to be and where it is beneficial to start the race. If you qualify with a full tank you will be near the back of the grid but you could come through when others are making pit stops."

Elsewhere, Minardi's Jos Verstappen is undecided: "Personally I don't know what to think of that (refueling ) rule, if it gets accepted," he said. "Imagine you are qualifying with very little fuel, this means you will have to refuel soon after the start of the race. I don't know."

Geoff Willis, BAR's technical director, is giving the idea some consideration: "The FIA regulation changes mean that qualifying and race strategy become one and the same," he commented. "We are currently considering the full implications this will have on the operation of our race car and the design of future cars."

No refueling is the latest in a long line of FIA changes aimed at improving the sport and reducing the costs. With only three weeks until the season opener in Melbourne, it reamains to be seen if the FIA can squeeze in any more last minute additions.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , David Coulthard , Geoff Willis
Teams McLaren , Minardi