Formula 1 to switch to fully sustainable fuel by 2026

Formula 1 aims to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030, and believes it will be using fully sustainable fuel by 2026. While Formula 1 currently has an engine-freeze in place, meaning teams aren’t allowed to further develop its engine technology for several years, they are consistently changing the blends of fuel used to go racing.

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F1 is currently developing a fully sustainable fuel to use in its cars without needing to change its engines drastically. While many believe Formula 1 needs to go fully-electric to remain relevant, the racing series has decided to focus on making current technology better as it always has. So the thinking here is that developing this fully sustainable fuel could then also be used in internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that are already on the road, drastically lowering their carbon footprint in the process.

This year F1 cars are using E10 fuel, which includes 10 percent ethanol that’s already fully renewable. To increase that percentage from 10 this year to 100 within 4 years sounds like a tough ask, F1 believes it will achieve this.

“We’re working on an E fuel where the carbon circle is completely neutral so the carbon utilized to produce that fuel is the same quantity as the carbon emitted from the internal combustion engine,” F1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn said in a statement. “It means that the engines do not add anything to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

“The great appeal is when we find this solution, you can use it in your road car, without making any changes to the engine. We will have close to two billion internal combustion engines on the planet and whatever electric solution we find, whatever hydrogen solution we find, there’s still going to be two billion cars. There are parts of the world where those cars won’t change to electric.”

“If we drop a fuel which has much less impact on the environment into those cars, it’s a positive change and we will be sending a strong message that that is a feasible way to go. All the oil companies that work in F1 are all committed to that. It will be a fantastic achievement and a fantastic message to the world that there are other solutions as well.”