Although Formula 1 wants to be CO2 neutral by 2030, it is currently working on a sustainable fuel that it wants to introduce in 2026, coinciding with the arrival of new engines in F1, and which can also be used in cars production
In charge of the team in charge of the project, evokes the technical director of F1, Pat Symonds “a fascinating challenge”.
“The first time I brought it up, nobody understood what I was talking about and I wasn’t sure myself to be honest, so I had to do a lot of research on the subject. We worked closely with the FIA, which there are some very good fuel specialists and we’ve also had great help from our partner Aramco.”
The revolution has already started this season, with the new F1 cars running on E10, which is made up of 90% fuel and 10% renewable ethanol. A first step that Symonds appreciates.
“The 10% ethanol we currently use is completely renewable. There are many types of ethanol, it varies according to quality but ours is green, so sustainable.”
Ross Brawn, F1’s chief executive, is also pleased to see the discipline doing its best to be more environmentally friendly.
“Sustainable fuels present us with a wonderful opportunity. We are working on an emission-neutral fuel, so the carbon used to produce this fuel is equivalent to that produced by the internal combustion engine. This means that the engines will not add dioxide to the atmosphere “.
“What is very attractive about this solution is that it can be used in everyday cars without having to make any changes to the engine. Then we will have almost 2 billion internal combustion engines in the world and any electric, or hydrogen, solution that we find. , there will still be 2 billion cars left. There are some parts of the world where cars will not be electric.”
“If we offer a fuel that has less impact on the environment for all these cars, it will be a positive change and a strong message that it is doable. All the oil companies working in F1 are committed to it. It will be a fantastic achievement and a great message to the whole world: there are solutions.”
A very ambitious but achievable goal
Going from 10% renewable fuel by 2022 to 100% by 2026 is a very ambitious goal, but Pat Symonds assures us: F1 is ready.
“We worked with Aramco and tested over 39 fuel blends. This allowed us to understand the effects of the different types of blends you can use to produce a sustainable fuel. We tested them in a single-cylinder Formula 1 engine for it to be representative and I think this has allowed us to accelerate our progress.”
And Ross Brawn to continue: “Aramco will produce this fuel from two plants, one in Saudi Arabia and the other in Spain. There are a lot of people who will want to produce it themselves, but we think it’s them, along with other energy suppliers from the F1, those who will. to be able to produce what we need.”
“F1 has always driven technology and pioneered this hybrid technology that can be used in everyday cars. Our internal combustion engine is incredibly efficient.”
“If we succeed in developing the best sustainable fuel out there, manufacturers will invest millions in development to achieve the same result, which will generally benefit society at large.”