Sunday, March 14, 2010

Refuelling ban will improve F1, says legend Alain Prost

Felipe Massa's 2008 gaffe, leaving the pits with fuel hose attached, will not be repeated in 2010

Formula 1 legend Alain Prost rejects fears the refuelling ban will have a detrimental effect on racing this year.
The Frenchman, who won the last title before refuelling was introduced in 1994, believes the move will actually serve to improve F1 as a spectacle.
"The drivers have never experimented with that before, so they are a bit confused, even the teams," the four-times world champion told BBC Sport.
"They need to get used to it. It may take some races but it will be better."
Prost, who is second in the all-time winners' list behind Michael Schumacher, was known as 'The Professor' during his career for his intelligent approach to racing, which helped him secure many victories.
After a few races, I am sure the good drivers, the top drivers, will like it
Alain Prost
The 55-year-old said the refuelling ban would have the same effect as it did during his career, in that it would favour drivers able to think about their racing.
The challenge drivers now face is managing their cars through the difficult early stages of the race, when pressing too hard while the car is heavy with fuel can destroy the tyres.
Prost did not want to say which drivers he thought would benefit, but is convinced all the leading drivers would come to appreciate the change.
"They have got used to a sprint - in free practice, qualifying, race. And having 60kg of fuel or 10kg makes no difference," he said.
"When you start with 160kg you have to think differently, and they are not used to that.
"After a few races, I am sure the good drivers, the top drivers, will like it."
But Prost said he would change the rules covering the use of tyres in races.
Currently, all drivers have to use both of the two types of available tyre during the race, while drivers who make the top-10 qualifying shoot-out have to start the race on the tyres with which they set their fastest time.
"If it was my decision," he said, "I would have left the freedom about the tyres - you have one soft, one hard and freedom.
"(It would be) exactly the same - you start the race with the tyres you qualify with but after that freedom. If you want to use only soft tyres, or only hard tyres, (in the race) you do what you want."

Andrew Benson - BBC Sports

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