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GP Week : Issue 221
Following the spanish Grand Prix, the F1 strategy Group met to discuss the future of the sport from 2017, including the reintroduction of refeuling. Banned at the end of 2009, refueling has been touted as a way to spice up the on-track action by giving teams greater strategy freedom. It's a move popular with drivers as, with lighter cars, they'd be able to push harder during the race. However there remain deep concerns that reintroducing refueling could harm the sport more than help it. "The only thing I can read after the meeting is that refuelling doesn't make any sense," said Mercedes boss Toto Wolff in Monaco. "If it's going to create better racing, I am all for it. But at the moment I can't see that it will," added Red Bull's Christian Horner. We need to be a bit careful. People have short memories. We got rid of refuelling for good reason - not just cost but because the races became more tactical between the teams. "You are going to slow the pit stops down, fuel according to what competitors do, the races could become more stagnant." The Strategy Group also discussed more immediate changes, including giving teams free choice of tyres from 2016. "We're working in that regard with Charlie [Whiting] and the FIA to come up with a proposal that meets that requirements, that gives us a level of safety in the choices made and also to provide something interesting for the fans," explained Pirelli's Paul Hembery. The two compound rule however will remain, with teams nominating which tyre's they'd like to use on any given weekend. Pirelli is keen to avoid the sort of negative press it received two years ago when, despite producing the tyres asked for by the sport, it was heavily criticised for tyres with such high degredation. Since then the Italian company has taken a step back, a position it's keen to maintain even with the introduction of free tyre choice. Looking longer term, the Strategy Group also confirmed its desire to make cars 5 to 6 seconds a lap faster from 2017 through a mixture of aerodynamic rules, weight reduction and the reintroduction of wider tyres while engine regulations are set to remain unchanged. big changes coming 10 GPWEEK.com // 10 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> news