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Faster cars, refuelling and free choice of tyres among F1 Strategy Group decisions to improve the show

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Faster cars, refuelling and free choice of tyres among F1 Strategy Group decisions to improve the show
May 15, 2015, 2:08 PM

Formula One will reintroduce refuelling, give teams a free choice of dry compound tyres and target a reduction in lap time of between five and six ...

Formula One will reintroduce refuelling, give teams a free choice of dry compound tyres and target a reduction in lap time of between five and six seconds as part of a range of measures aimed at improving the 'show'.

Following yesterday's meeting of the F1 Strategy Group at Biggin Hill, the sport's governing body, the FIA, this afternoon released details of some of the decisions taken at the meeting, which not only featured the statutory members of the group but also representatives of F1's engine manufacturers.

From the start of next season teams will be given "free choice of the two dry tyre compounds (out of four) that each team can use during the race weekend".

Then, in 2017, the regulations will see the "reintroduction of refuelling (maintaining a maximum race fuel allowance).

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 14.07.50

The decision is curious, as when refuelling was outlawed ahead of the 2010 season the stated reason given by the FIA was that the ban was being imposed "in order to save the costs of transporting refuelling equipment and increase the incentive for engine builders to improve fuel economy (to save weight)." It also remains to be seen how the move back to refuelling is managed in terms of the number of operational staff available at races. 

However, lightening the load of fuel in cars will help with brakes that are currently on the limit of performance and lead to lour lap times, with the possibility of greater G forces, thus making the cars harder to drive.

The Strategy Group also voted to increased the speed of cars, targeting a "five to six-second drop in lap times through aerodynamic rules evolution, wider tyres and reduction of car weight", as well as bringing in  "higher revving engines, increased noise and more aggressive looks".

The statement from the FIA, signed by FIA President Jean Todt and by Commercial Rights holder Bernie Ecclestone also added that there would be "a global reflection on race weekend format" and "measures to make starts only activated by the driver without any outside assistance".

As heavily rumoured the Strategy Group rejected proposals for the provision of a fifth power unit to teams this season.

"On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants. The allowance for a fifth engine to be used during the 2015 season has been rejected," said the statement.

Speculation yesterday about the outcome of the meeting had focused on suggestions that the provision of customer chassis had been discussed but no details emerged in the FIA statement.

Instead, in relation to cost-cutting the statement simply said that: "in light of the various scenarios presented by the independent consulting company mandated by the F1 Strategy Group, at the initiative of the FIA, to work on the reduction of costs and following a constructive exchange, a comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport has emerged.

"The Strategy Group member Teams have committed to refine [the proposal] in the next few weeks, in consultation with the other teams involved in the championship."

The FIA statement concluded by saying: "This constructive meeting between the FIA, FOM and the teams has paved the way for the future of the championship. All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation."
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