LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One is set to bring back refuelling in 2017 as part of a rules revamp to make cars faster, louder and more aggressive-looking.
The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) said in a statement on Friday, a day after a meeting of the sport’s Strategy Group, that the aim was to make cars five to six seconds a lap quicker and improve “the show”.
This will be achieved through aerodynamic rule changes, wider tyres and making cars lighter. The V6 turbo hybrid power units, introduced last year in place of the V8s, will be higher revving and noisier.
Such measures will address some of the concerns raised about the new engines and the racing, with drivers chafing at having to save fuel and tyres and Ferrari calling for revolution rather than evolution.
Refuelling, which was banned in 2010, will return with a maximum race fuel allowance in keeping with moves to improve economy and present the sport in a greener light.
For 2016, teams will be given a free choice of dry tyre compounds to use during the race weekend, a more controversial move that sole supplier Pirelli has questioned on safety grounds.
The meeting between the six top teams, Ecclestone and FIA also included representatives of the sport’s engine manufacturers.
The FIA said the meeting at Biggin Hill, south of London, had been “constructive” and paved the way for the future of the championship.
“All parties agreed to work together with an intention to firm up these proposals and submit them to the approval of the F1 Commission and the World Motor Sport Council of the FIA as soon as possible for implementation,” it added.
A proposal to increase the engine allocation from four to five per driver for the current season was rejected.
While dominant Mercedes had expressed no objection to allowing a fifth engine to ensure more cars took part in Friday practice, giving the fans more action for their money, customer teams were opposed.
Renault-powered Red Bull and Honda partners McLaren had wanted the extra engine after suffering multiple failures in the first five races of the season that have left them facing grid penalties for exceeding the allocation.
The FIA said other areas, such as the race weekend format, required further investigation before changes could be made.
It said a “comprehensive proposal to ensure the sustainability of the sport” had emerged and the Strategy Group teams would refine it in coming weeks in consultation with the others.
“On the engine side, it has been decided that stability of the rules should prevail in consideration of the investments of the manufacturers involved in the sport and to give visibility to potential new entrants,” the FIA added.
Editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis