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Grosjean: Refuelling the 'easiest and cheapest' way to shave weight

  • Published on 22 Aug 2019 10:16
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Romain Grosjean says that reintroducing refuelling to Formula 1 is the simplest and least costly method of bringing the weight of the current cars down.

Drivers have often complained that the current F1 cars are too heavy, with the technical regulations stating that the minimum weight without fuel must not be less than 743kg.

One possibility that is being explored for the 2021 season is refuelling, which was banned from F1 at the end of the 2009 season.

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Grosjean confirmed that the Grand Prix Drivers' Association is pushing for refuelling, as it will also help with the Pirelli tyres, which many drivers are struggling with this season. 

"Yes, the GPDA want it," Grosjean said. "Not because we think it's great for racing, but because we need to bring the weight of the car down to help Pirelli. 

"It's a temporary fix. We'd like the car to be 60kg or 70kg lighter at the start of the race and not overheat the tyres like crazy.  It would help the tyres, which is the big weakness at the minute."

In 2009, when Grosjean first raced in F1, cars were directed to meet a minimum weight 605kg, which Grosjean says makes a stark contrast to today's cars through the corners. 

"When I drove in 2009, it was 140 kilos [lighter], and you can feel the cars in the corners, they are very heavy. The start of the race is even more. We feel it's too much for a Formula 1 car."

F1 will also see 18-inch wheels in 2021, as well as standard brake systems, which Grosjean says is only adding to the weight when most are pushing to go in the opposite direction. 

"We are talking about 18-inch tyres, which is another 25 kilos, standard brake systems, another 8 kilos.

"You are adding and adding and adding while the only thing we want is to bring the weight down. It's [refuelling] the easiest and cheapest way to get the weight down."

The Haas driver added that the GPDA brought up the possibility of bringing back V10 engines to save weight, but were quickly told that it wasn't an option. 

"This we were told is not an option. Because it was the first thing we brought up, a V10 and you save 150 kilos. But it's not an option."

Replies (6)

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  • denis1304

    Posts: 272

    They should also limit the fuel cell size to max 40 kg. This would force teams to 2 stops minimum.

    • + 0
    • Aug 22 2019 - 15:10
  • But also the least meaningless way. My opinion of this is about as fancied as my adoration of Honda or Monaco's GP, or as agreed upon as my fierce spite of liquorice, but I don't feel refuelling belong in modern F1. It makes sense in WEC and S-GT, doesn't in F1.

    • + 0
    • Aug 22 2019 - 16:52
    • *least meaningful

      • + 0
      • Aug 22 2019 - 17:05
    • boudy

      Posts: 1,168

      Agree, I would rather see them lift the battery restrictions allowing for a bigger battery size and more deployment allowed. The whole industry is going electric it would make sense to make F1 the foreground of that instead of FE.

      • + 0
      • Aug 22 2019 - 18:23
    • I'm torn on about this. I feel that refueling actually spices up the race strategies. It multiplies the strategic possibilities exponentially. However, I see the point modern F1 growing out of refueling. But V10s and V8 engines are also ancient and people still want them. I'd say those engines would be more of a proper step back in time than refueling.

      At this point, with the amount of uncertainty about the future of the sport, I frankly support anything that will improve racing and keep drivers happy. In not too worried about principle.

      • + 0
      • Aug 23 2019 - 05:21
    • NiyolHuayra

      Posts: 5

      Agree, also I doubt it would be cheaper since engine manufacturers would spend tons of money on efficiency. But the 18" rims are not a good idea.

      • + 0
      • Aug 23 2019 - 08:55

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