When the sport says farewell to the current power unit technology, it could retain the core characteristics of the current formula by combining it with sustainable fuels.
The sport is working on a new engine formula that is set to be introduced in 2026. The current hybrid engine was born in 2014 and has been criticized for the high costs that are involved in the development processes.
Although there have been talks about a complete change of the current power unit for 2026, the sport looks to stick to the hybrid technology, albeit combining it with sustainable fuels.
A working group of F1 and FIA personnel has been set up to investigate a future engine formula powered by sustainable fuels. This group will be expanded to include specialists from the OEMs and energy suppliers as well as seeking expertise from independent research groups.
„Although the carbon footprint of the cars is a very small percentage of our carbon footprint as a sport (0.7 per cent) it is important that the most visual part of our sport is sustainable and can have real world benefits. We also believe that there is not a single solution to the engine technologies of the future but that a sustainable fuel hybrid engine will be a significant moment for the sport and the automotive sector,” read a Formula One statement.
Formula One has also confirmed that it managed to continue to deliver on its sustainability plans despite the unprecedented year that the world has faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The sport announced an ambitious sustainability plan on November 12th, 2019 to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.
The plan covered the aims of reducing the carbon footprint of the F1 car and the on-track activities, moving to ultra-efficient logistics and travel, having 100% renewable powered offices, facilities, & factories and ensuring that all events are sustainable by using sustainable materials at all events with single-use plastics being eliminated and all waste reused, recycled, or composted.
Despite the challenges this year has posed so far, Formula One has worked hard to deliver on its plans. The sport has been awarded 3* environmental accreditation from the FIA.
By transitioning from a single, circuit-based Broadcast Centre, into a smaller Event Technical Centre (at circuit) and Remote Technical Centre (back in the UK), Formula One has „reduced travelling staff by 36% and freight by 34%. This has eliminated c.70 tonnes of freight being taken to every race, making a step-change impact on our logistics emissions over a whole season something we will continue to improve and seek further reductions in our global emissions from freight in the future.”
Formula One has also confirmed that all its offices receive all their energy from 100% renewable sources. It has also signed the United Nations’ Sports for Climate Action Framework that requires all members to undertake systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility; reduce overall climate impact; educate for climate action. Moreover, Formula One teams have worked with different firms to rapidly innovate, design & deliver new ventilator devices to support the care of critically ill patients.
The sport has already announced that it plans that, from next year, Formula 1, the FIA and the Teams will all work to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic bottles and cutlery and food waste in the pit and paddock. Moreover, Formula 1 promised that it „will also provide an update on real-world actions being taken to increase Diversity and Inclusion in our sport.”