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Friday, August 8, 2008

Coulthard advocates refueling ban

David Coulthard used the forum of his weekly ITV column to make a case against refueling in F1.

“Refuelling detracts from the racing by turning the grand prix into a series of low-fuel sprints between pit stops,” said the soon-to-retire Coulthard.

The topic came up after a series of refueling fires at last week’s Hungarian Grand Prix, attributed to the hot weather.

“The spate of fuel fires in Hungary were all extinguished quickly and no one was hurt, but they did serve to remind us how potentially volatile pit stops are,” Coulthard said.

Fuel stops were brought back into the sport in 1994, the same year DC made his driving debut, partially to make the sport more exciting. But the Scot feels it has had the opposite effect.

“In the days (pre-1994) when you carried your entire race fuel load on board the car, there was a much bigger role for the driver in managing the tyres and brakes,” he said. “You could even opt to run non-stop if you could make the tyres go the distance, while someone else might pit twice.

“And because the car’s weight changed so much more in the course of the race, there were more fluctuations in performance and handling characteristics, which in turn created more overtaking opportunities,” the Red Bull driver explained.

DC lamented the predictability of the sport, something he believes banning refueling will address.

“These days, in dry conditions, you very rarely see anyone win from further back than the second row of the grid, because race pace largely mirrors qualifying pace – which is not surprising when the conditions are so similar,” he said. “So if we need to spice up the racing, in my view one of the best ways of doing that would be to ban refueling.”

And Coulthard may have found the perfect way to sell it to the suddenly “Green” Max Mosley -- environmental protection.

“It could also chime in nicely with the desire for F1 to pursue a ‘green’ agenda, in that the FIA could give every team a fixed and publicly known amount of fuel for the race distance and they would have a clear incentive to be as fuel-efficient as possible,” he said.

Senna in the hunt for STR

Many have speculated Bruno Senna is a shoe-in for the open seat at Toro Rosso for 2009, but co-owner Gerhard Berger has played down the possibility.

F1-Live reports Berger told Dutch magazine Formule 1 Race Report:

“I am still not convinced. Bruno Senna is good enough for Formula One, but the same applies also to Roman Grosjean and Sebastien Buemi. But so far, none of those three have totally convinced me. You could say that I don't yet see a new Vettel."

There is hope for the nephew of late three-time Formula One world champion Ayrton, however.

“I'm willing to give him a test, but currently there are no concrete discussions about this," Berger said.

Ford offers Raikkonen rally test

Kimi Raikkonen recently said when he hangs up his F1 helmet he’d like to look into rallying.

“At some time I want to try rallying. That interests me; asphalt, gravel and ice,” Fox reports the Finn said.

Ford team principal Malcolm Wilson has gone on the record as willing to offer the reigning world champion a test.

“I'd offer him a test. It'd be a great opportunity for us,” Wilson said. “We can do it because we've got the forest (stages) on our doorstep.”

Wilson would welcome F1-class drivers with open arms.

"I'm really pleased guys that are in Formula One would like to be driving a world rally car. One or two of them would like to be driving a world rally car rather than an F1 car if the same sort of rewards were there.”

Interestingly, the Ford man hinted Raikkonen isn’t the only driver with an interest in WRC.

“Sadly we're not in that position but I'm sure that at some point the three drivers we're talking about would end up behind the wheel of a rally car,” he said.
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Concerning refueling, I do agree with the safety concerns. I do not think that refueling detracts from the racing. Getting the team more visibly involved in the race adds to it for me, a spectator. I think a simpler way to push fuel efficiency is to mandate a small capacity fuel cell. There's a point where you're making too many pit stops and efficiency will be the answer. Also, my opinion is that Formula 1 is a sprint race. I like that and don't consider it predictable.

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