Formula 1's Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds has explained why the motorsport is leading the push towards full use of sustainable fuel in F1 cars by 2026 – while F2 and F3 are aiming to use 100% sustainable fuels by 2027, the Formula I website reports.
Formula 1 is pushing towards a goal towards Net Zero Carbon by 2030, an ambitious target that requires a holistic approach, including the use of recycled materials, optimising travel and logistics, and researching sustainable fuels.
Currently, F1 engine manufacturers must use E10 fuel, comprising 10% ethanol biofuel. But in 2026, engine manufacturers will use 100% sustainable fuels along with a new engine formula. And, with projections of 1.4 billion cars on the planet in 2030 – the majority powered by internal combustion engines – the objective is to have sustainable fuels dropped in to those engines too.
"Formula 1’s got a long history of pushing the boundaries of technology, from the early days of seatbelts to our modern hybrid engine," said Symonds. "And really, Formula 1 is a breeding ground of innovation. And it’s also an area where efficiency is a keyword to performance and competitiveness.
"So our current hybrid engines are, as I hope most people know, the most efficient engines on the planet. But I think the next revolution is just around the corner: 100% sustainable fuel that will work just as well as existing fuels – it really is a drop-in fuel and it really will be our next breakthrough and something that will once again, using Formula 1, demonstrate the art of the possible."
Symonds maintained that F1's sustainable fuels will work in parallel to Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) as both are viable solutions to the global warming problem.