The other nice things about the "no-refuelling" rule were:
- Jos Verstappen was less likely to burst into flames in the pits
- the huge change in weight of the car meant it was less likely that any one car would handle perfectly right through the race - lots of good starts, slow finishes and vice versa
- pit stops were for tyre strategy - if you looked after your tyres you gained something, now weight comes into it too, which favours more stops, more tyres etc
The safety balance between fuelling and no fuelling is a tricky one. Now we have the chance of pit lane fires. Then we had huge fuel bladders and foam filled side pods which the driver perched on top of. Firstly, this meant he was stuck right at the front (look how far back they are now - if there was a back seat, they'd be in it !), so a high speed crash was bad for legs. Secondly, in a big crash, there was a chance of a really big fireball
None the less, Lauda and Prost were the masters at reeling in a race, a skill we rarely or never see today.
Posted on Apr 11, 2001, 7:10 AM from IP address 184.108.40.206