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Formula 1 targeting fully sustainable fuel by 2026

Sportsnaut
Jun 18, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez of Mexico exits the fourteenth turn during the third free practice session at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

Formula 1 is on schedule to use 100 percent sustainable fuel in its race cars by 2026, according to managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn.

F1 cars are using E10 fuel this year that includes 90 percent fossil fuel and 10 percent ethanol. Meanwhile, a “drop-in” fully sustainable fuel is being developed with a goal of not having to modify the engines that run it.

That means transitioning to fully sustainable fuel without sacrificing speed.

It’s all part of F1’s plan to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.

“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,” Brawn said in a statement Tuesday. “It means that the engines do not add anything to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Brawn added that making the fuel available to a wider consumer base would help reduce global emissions. Beyond passenger vehicles and race cars, internal combustion engines are critical to air and sea travel along with vehicles transporting heavy goods.

The sustainable fuel project is being led by F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds. According to F1’s studies estimate, only eight percent of the 1.8 billion cars projected to be on the road in 2030 will be fully electric.

“We’ve been working with Aramco and have now tested 39 surrogate blends of fuels,” Symonds said. “This has helped us understand the effects of the different types of blends that you can use in a sustainable fuel.

“The techniques that we will hone and make more efficient and mainstream to produce our fuels are exactly the same techniques that can produce the fuel for trucks, for trains, for aircraft, even if those fuels are slightly different.”

–Field Level Media