LOOK: Formula 1 on schedule to switch to fully sustainable fuel by 2026

Picture: Leslin_Liu/Pixabay

Picture: Leslin_Liu/Pixabay

Published Aug 10, 2022


Motorsport’s Formula 1 is on track to a cleaner, more sustainable racing operation, with an objective of achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030 and a plan to use 100% sustainable fuel in its race cars by 2026.

Engadget.com reported recently that the racing giant is currently developing a "drop-in" fully sustainable fuel for use in Formula 1 cars and claims that most road cars would be able to use the fuel too.

This year, Formula 1 will move to E10 ethanol fuel, a mixture of 90% fossil fuel and 10% sustainable ethanol. With the launch of a new generation of engines, the aim is to help develop a 100% sustainable fuel, with Formula 1 actively engaged in discussions with companies about creating the fuel in the quantities needed for the championship, as well as scaling up production for wider social use.

F1 managing director of motorsports, Ross Brawn, said in a statement that the body is working on an E fuel where the carbon cycle is completely neutral, so that the carbon used to produce that fuel is the same quantity as that emitted from the internal combustion engine.

This means that the engines do not add anything to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and Brawn noted that making the fuel available more broadly could help reduce emissions around the globe, especially in areas where switching to electric vehicles won't be feasible for a long time.

F1’s chief technical officer, Pat Symonds, who is leading the 100% sustainable fuel project, said the motorsport is still in good shape to meet the 2026 target. “We’ve been working with Aramco and have now tested 39 surrogate blends of fuel,” Symonds said.

“This has helped us understand the effects of the different types of blends that you can use in sustainable fuel. We’ve been testing those in a single-cylinder Formula 1 power unit, so it’s representative testing and I think that’s helped accelerate our progress. "

In a statement on its website, F1 said “the new fuel will also pack a punch worthy of the pinnacle of motorsport, matching the energy density of Formula 1’s current fossil fuel petrol, meaning the cars will be every bit as fast as they are today”.

It is estimated that there will be 1.8 billion cars on the road by 2030, only 8% of them being being pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs), while internal combustion engines will continue to be essential for air and sea travel, as well as the haulage industry.

By spearheading the development of 100% advanced sustainable drop-in fuels, Formula 1 can play its part in making an enormous impact on the global transport sector's greenhouse gas emissions.

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