If having less fuel in the tank lightens an F1 car, which then delivers faster lap times, why don't F1 cars refuel at a pitstop?
If you're new to F1, you might not know that refuelling during a pitstop was a common practice back in the day. The last time an F1 driver stopped their car at the pits to put in some more fuel was in 1982 during the Austrian Grand Prix. Thereafter, F1 teams filled in the minimum amount of fuel needed to complete an entire race.
Drivers and teams could actually refuel if they wanted to right up until 2010. Then the FIA banned refuelling and limited pitstops to just tyre changes, tweaks and repairs. The new regulation was implemented to have drivers in the pitlane for as little time as possible, as well as to try even out the playing field between top teams and lower teams in terms of budget. An F1 refuelling rig for topping up F1 cars in the middle of a race is exceptionally expensive and would prove to put unnecessary pressure on some racing teams.
Furthermore, there are safety concerns as well. If the timing of a mid-race refuel was off, drivers would set off with the fuel pipe still attached and cause a potential fire hazard and other concerns as well. The last devastating fire event caused by a refuelling session was with Jos Verstappen at the 1994 German Grand Prix.
Take a look at the video below by YouTube channel, WTF1, on Why Don't F1 cars refuel?
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