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E-fuels in F1? Driver Di Grassi’s request

30 April 2021
- Di
Alessia Petrucci
Tempo di lettura: 3 minuti

E-FUELS F1 - For everyone, the keyword of the moment that we are living today is sustainability. For individuals and businesses, of all sizes and levels, the aim is to be sustainable. As already said, no one is an exception but even more important is that those who have greater visibility commit themselves to setting a good example. It is the case of Formula 1, the most famous car championship, which has interests and audience in every part of the world. For years the FIA ( International Motor Racing Federation) has been working to make the world of racing more sustainable.

Steps towards sustainable F1

In 2019, Liberty Media CEO Chase Carey stated:

"In its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered many technologies and innovations that have contributed positively to the development of the company. We continue to believe that our sport can continue to be a guide for the car industry and be the first sector to give birth to a hybrid internal combustion engine with zero impact, able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the world. We recognize the crucial role our organization plays in addressing what is a global problem and hope to make a significant impact on the environment within which we operate. From now on, we are starting to reduce our emissions to ensure that we reach zero by 2030".

The changes that the f1 has brought over the years to try to achieve these goals have been numerous. To begin, in 2014 hybrid power units were introduced. For 2030 the goal is reaching zero emissions, abandoning plastic and using completely recyclable materials. The change, however, will not only affect the individual cars but the entire sector of the "circus" of F1, including the complete organization of each Grand Prix.

Using e-fuels in F1 to return to a traditional power unit

The introduction of the hybrid power unit in the formula 1 single-seaters, made many initially turn their noses up because it was believed it would reduce car’s power, therefore thrill to the races. In addition, many saw this first step as a test before introducing 100% electric motors. This fear was dispelled as the FIA subsequently kicked off the Formula E World Championship, whose cars have electric motors.

Given the realization of Formula E, it was understood that the future of F1 will not be electric power units. As a result, some people have begun to hypothesize a return to the old V10 and V8 engines for single-seaters. Among them is pilot Lucas Di Grassi, who recently tweeted:

"If I were in Formula 1, I would definitely fix the technical rules for the development and use of e-fuels. You can reuse the V10 and V8. At the same time, it will still be possible to remain relevant and decisive in the field of zero carbon footprint, without losing its identity. The hybrids will soon be finished. The electric battery is only for Formula E. This is the right sustainability for Formula 1. Not the green wash we see today with the planting of trees. Not like any advertising just to look sustainable for all to see. Sustainability is spending money and ingenuity to obtain and exploit green, clean and sustainable fuels. Sustainability is e-fuels"

E-fuels as new fuel: possible reality?

The idea of the driver Di Grassi has not yet had any response from the top FIA, but it is not that far-fetched. Electrofuels, abbreviated as e-fuels, are in fact synthetic fuels that allow to drastically reduce CO emissions . These fuels are created from renewable sources from which electricity is taken, which is then transformed into chemical energy. In order to understand the importance of e-fuels, just think that their CO emissions are about 70% lower than fossil fuels.

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