Opinion: Why hydrogen could be the future of Formula 1 Car News

You could say that Formula 1 has a spring in its approach.

This weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone will introduce a new experimental format, qualifying as we know it will take place tonight before a short sprint race on Saturday to establish the grid for Sunday’s race proper.

The fans are also back: the main event will be attended by a crowd of 140,000, almost 12 months after Sir Lewis Hamilton’s astonishing three-wheeled victory in front of an empty grandstands.

And the reveal of a 2022 F1 mockup to promote next year’s regulations was also a source of optimism: a lot of work has been done behind the scenes to find a formula that allows for a much closer race and, for example, extension, more excitement.

All of this is taking place in the context of a dynamic of sustainable development which, according to the bosses, will make F1 carbon neutral by 2030. Having already pioneered the most thermally efficient engines in the world, it is hoped that the mixture 10% biofuel used to power the current 1.6 – V6 hybrids will be replaced with fully sustainable fuel when the next generation of engine rules come into effect in 2025.

Add in the environmental activism of drivers like Hamilton and fellow world champion Sebastian Vettel, and the sport seems more thoughtful and forward-thinking than at any time in its history.

But can it last? F1 is sticking to turbo-hybrids as the auto industry turns to battery-electric vehicles. In the UK, we’re less than nine years away from a ban on new gasoline and diesel cars, and plug-in hybrids are also set to be banned by 2035.

F1 chief executive Ross Brawn is adamant that the sport cannot become entirely electric. Speaking in a BBC interview this week, he stressed that the cars “would need a six or seven ton battery” just to go the race distance.

He’s not wrong. There are certain types of transportation – the airplane being the most obvious example – that are simply not feasible with lithium-ion batteries, although their energy density increases rapidly in the years to come. F1 also needs an alternative.

When asked what it could be, Brawn came up with this: “Maybe hydrogen is the way F1 can have, where we keep the noise, we keep the emotion, but we move on to a different solution. “

More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-07-16 15:36:17

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *