Formula 1: Team Strategy Vs. Individual Brilliance, a Theory of Refuelling

Antony Herbert@LeeUwishWritingAnalyst IIIJune 3, 2010

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 30:  Adrian Sutil of Germany and Force India drives during the Turkish Formula One Grand Prix at Istanbul Park on May 30, 2010, in Istanbul, Turkey.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The refuelling ban has divided the spectatorship of Formula 1. Whilst anger over its inception has died down with a collection of thrilling Grand Prix, many are still finding the sport lacking.

There appears to be one major fault. There is still an evidently difficult nature of overtaking that is disallowing drivers at the back of the field to make major headway up the field and gain anything close to a finish that is relative to their pace and performance.

Although it does punish those who make clumsy mistakes in qualifying, this can and obviously does leave the viewer somewhat dissatisfied.

Whilst I believe that the refuelling ban has gifted us the opportunity to witness a greater bias towards driver influence, I sometimes believe that maybe a compromise would be a new direction to head in.

Why not fuse the idea of individual excellence with the reintroduction of some form of strategy.

We should definitely not return to the scenes where Grand Prix were won in the pits. This is an event that makes the sport dull and irrelevant to the theory of competition.

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It also fuels the fire for those who demean the sport as just men racing around a circular track with not much else happening.

The driver should be able to earn victories and world championships on the track, and through their own merits.

So instead why not reintroduce a different form of refuelling that disallows any one team to fuel more throughout a race than any other outfit.

Yes this is exactly as it was circa the 2010 season. Yet I propose one change. Why not make all teams partake in the same number of refuelling pit stops?

Through this proposal teams could choose a lighter or heavier first stint, which could warrant an opposing second stint seeing them balance their race in a way that is to their own preferences.

Each team would have to comprehend their epitome of an effective strategy whilst also leaving a large amount of the focus and talent within the drivers to express as they also wish.

In this instance a driver at the back could load as heavily at the beginning of a Grand Prix as they like. Through this change they would acquire the knowledge that they could run riot in the closing stages on fresh tires.

The likes of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton would surely admire this idea if left in a position where they are light years away from the front.

Their strategy would be simple: to keep in touch with the field early on and to overtake as many as the slower teams and drivers as possible, before closing in on the front runners late on.

Places could be gained additionally through the pits but it would hopefully inspire them into more intriguing positions and consequentially improved results.

Conclusions to Grand Prix could become more enticing for the viewer. Drivers at the back could once more divulge their intentions towards the front with the prior knowledge that it is within their grasps to turn their qualifying misfortunes around.

Of course I have no impact on anything that the FIA could introduce, so this idea for the time being is only a theory. But it is a theory that attempts to balance the lack of team strategy with the lack of overtaking.

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