MARCH 13, 1995

F1 updates its refuelling equipment

Grand Prix racing will have completely new refuelling machinery this season. The teams and French high-technology company Intertechnique have analyzed the experiences of 1994 and have come up with a completely new machine to cut down the risk of fuel fires.

The new refuelling machines are half the size of last year's rigs, which will mean a dramatic reduction in freight costs - although some of these were paid last year by FOCA.

The machines feature larger nozzles, which now lock on to the cars before fuel begins to flow through the pipes. This will make it impossible for there to be a fire like the one which engulfed the Benetton pit at Hockenheim during the German Grand Prix.

The danger now is that there could be a major spillage if a car were to drive out of the pit while still attached to the refuelling machine. This risk has been minimized by the incorporation of a dead-man's handle which must be depressed for fuel to flow through the pipe. If this handle is released, the fuel flow will immediately stop.