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Refuelling would not be as significant in modern F1 - Damon Hill

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Former world champion Damon Hill does not think refuelling would play as significant a role in modern F1 as it did in the past if it returned to the sport.

Refuelling was dropped at the end of 2009 due to spiralling costs but has recently returned to the agenda for rule makers discussing future changes. FIA president Jean Todt said last week its return is being seriously considered, possibly for as early as 2017.

Hill, who won the world championship in 1996 and primarily drove in an era where it was part of race strategy, thinks the switch to V6 turbo engines and the 100kg fuel limit on modern cars would dilute the importance of refuelling if it made a comeback.

Asked whether he thought refuelling would improve the spectacle, Hill told ESPN: "It is possible. I have to say I'm a bit surprised, I thought they had decided refuelling was not desirable but there's a rumour they're reconsidering. There must be a reason for that and I can only assume that it's so the show gives more opportunity, or hopefully gives more opportunity, for people to compete and makes the racing more exciting.

"There's no question that cars coming in to top up for fuel is a drama, but you have to remember that these cars use 100kg of fuel -- the last few years have been using two thirds of the fuel that they used to use in the past. So fuel is always going to be significant but it's not nearly as significant as it used to be in the days when it used to be 180kg in the car."

The current discussions around rule changes hope to achieve a regulations revolution for 2017. Part of that is to achieve faster cars and Hill thinks refuelling could be one way to do that without dramatically altering the current V6 turbos.

"There's a fuel-flow restriction too so maybe they're looking at that and thinking if they want to up the output of the engine then they can't redesign the cars to increase the fuel capacity, so they might be looking at trying to increase the amount of energy they can burn during the race and refuelling is the only way to do it. That might be one of the reasons why [it is being discussed]."

Interview conducted by Kate Walker