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F1 confident it can prevent costly research war on sustainable fuels

F1 is moving to ditch fossil-based products from 2026, promising cars will be fueled with 100% sustainable fuels.

The move is part of a joint effort to make the series carbon neutral by 2030, with the championship’s top minds coming up with drop-in fuels that will be made available to the public and help reduce environmental pollution. Hope it helps. The wider world.

With F1’s eagerness to push the boundaries of technology to come up with the best possible solutions, teams could find themselves embroiled in an expensive battle to create ever more exotic solutions in their quest for success. One thing is clear.

F1’s chief technical officer, Pat Symonds, is wary of the dangers and could undermine the fuel’s chances of becoming commercially viable for the public.

But he believes the approach F1 has taken in imposing the new regulations should be enough to discourage fuel suppliers from trying to do anything too outlandish.

In particular, he thinks the fact that fuel flow regulations will stipulate a maximum energy flow of 3000 megajoules per hour, rather than the current 100 kilogram mass, is key to putting a lid on things.

Of the dangers of a costly arms race, Simmons said, “We’ve actually been thinking about it quite a bit.

“And from the beginning, Aramco has been very involved in advising us on how to formulate these fuels, and actually for us to test and understand the sensitivities of different things. We have created many candidate fuels.

“I think the basic answer lies in the fact that we went from mass flow to energy flow. Even within range, I think there was every reason to believe that someone could have done it.

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Photo credit: Eric Junius

“But when you have limited energy, simply put, the key is to convert that energy into power. And you don’t run away with things.”

But Simmons is well aware of how aggressive performance teams can be in F1, so he doesn’t rule out that some teams are working hard to find even more of an edge.

“There are nuances to it,” he said. “And a good fuel isn’t just what its energy content is. There are all sorts of things. It’s volatile, it’s the speed of the flame. There are all sorts of things that define a good fuel.

“But if anything, I think what we’ve done, and what we’ve really focused on, is opening up the process and regulating the final content.

“If politicians were talking about how to decarbonize the world and let engineers define the process instead of dictating what that process should be, we would be in a better place now. I think it might be.”

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Simmons said much effort has been made to ensure that the products used in fuel are not regulated so tightly that innovation does not occur.

“The regulations are very carefully designed to really facilitate different ways of producing these fuels,” he said. “This is a very new technology.

“There are many different ways to produce fuel and no one yet knows exactly which is the best way. , the rules have been very carefully crafted, and at the same time not to produce fuel that will run the best of them out of control.”

“We believe free competition in fuel production will lead to the best products available to the general public after the mid-2020s. And imagine 1.4 billion vehicles on the road. By a fuel that doesn’t destroy the atmosphere.

“We also do not rely on scarce minerals and do not force children to work in dangerous conditions for paltry wages to produce the minerals needed for some batteries. It is also a fuel that provides a parallel path to electrification.

“It may not be the only solution, it may not be the best solution in all cases. But it is definitely a solution worth considering and one that is currently accepted by the EU. It is a policy and I hope that F1 will contribute to society once again.” F1 confident it can prevent costly research war on sustainable fuels

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