Of all the new regulations for the 2010 Formula One Season, the changes to pit stops will probably be the ones that the average F1 fan notices the mosts. Starting at the Bahrain Grand Prix this weekend there will no longer be refuelling during pit stops under Sporting Regulation, Article 29.
The new regulation states that “Cars may not be refuelled after they have left the pit lane before the race.”
Cars may not be refuelled after they have left the pit lane before the race.
This now means that all cars must carry enough fuel to last the entire race distance, something which has not been seen in F1 since the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.
Not only does this new regulation mean that the teams and manufacturers have had to redesign and increase the fuel tanks on board the cars, but it also changes the dynamics and strategy of pit stops. In past seasons we have seen motor races won and lost on fuel stop strategies, to run long with more fuel or short with less.
There are a few potential positives for this new regulation. All the of the cars will be on a bit more of a level playing field, with everyone pretty much starting with the same fuel load. It will also mean that cars will not go ‘out of sequence’ as much as teams do drastically different numbers of stops because they had more or less fuel on board.
Fuel stop strategy was one of the most exciting elements of Formula 1, and while team strategy will still be vital because of tyre choices and pit stops, it will be interesting to see how this new regulation effects the races, both in who will win and the excitement for the fans.