A Debate We Forgot: The Refueling Ban

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIMay 31, 2010

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 27:  Fernando Alonso of Spain and Ferrari drives in for a pit stop during qualifying for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on March 27, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Has anyone else noticed the current and complete lack of discussion concerning one of the most talked about rule changes for the 2010 season?

After Bahrain the claws came out from both drivers and spectators for the refueling ban that was promised to afford us greater levels of compelling action.

Instead, many saw it as a huge detriment to the sport and called for its immediate exit. A new season full of various champions and superstars did not need such a massive hindrance.

However, this opinion has since taken a backseat. Rainy conditions helped to ease the pressure on the new rule as it was allowed to build upon itself and earn an improved reputation.

Fernando Alonso does, after all, talk a lot of sense. He formed a small minority when he commented upon the patience that was required by us all to let the new rule grow.

He objected to the view that it only further enhanced the ideal of a sport often afflicted with banal based criticism. The rule instead had to be nurtured and adapted to by the drivers who would be forced to compete at a more intense rate.

The Turkish Grand Prix proved more than anything that the action on track can eclipse the tactical battles that before had encapsulated the sport's main competitive nature.

We had become tiresome of the endless pit-lane victories and triumphs that emerged from a carefully calculated pit strategy. The drivers played a part, but the fuel loads played the more vital of roles.

So down with the predictability and in, we are lead to believe, has come an era of individual excellence.

Some drivers have thrust into life, outperforming their cars to a level that warrants electric applause. Robert Kubica I am mainly referring to you.

McLaren showed their dogged hand at the start in Turkey as both Hamilton and Button had to portray enough aggression and dominance to retake Vettel and Schumacher respectively, after they were both edged at the start.

Even more intriguing have been the personal mistakes made by the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in qualifying sessions.

The resulting spectacle left us in remembrance of their determined talent, as they have to force their way through the field with multiple and impressive overtaking maneuvers.

It may only take one race similar to Bahrain to echo us back to the harsh and, in hindsight, unfair criticism of the refueling ban.

Yet what this season is showing more and more is that the drivers are making this season their own. They are providing us glimpses of brilliance, they are inspiring us to reignite our passion for the sport, and most importantly they are willing us to keep on watching.