Oct 4, 2021

Could changes to Formula 1 attract another new car company?

Mercedes have dominated F1 since hybrid engines were introduced in 2014They are a simplification of the hybrid engines, levelling the playing field for a new entrant competing with others who have been in the sport for decades, and a commitment to adopt sustainable fuels. The VW Group has been involved in discussions over the new engine formula in the past months, and senior F1 insiders say they are increasingly certain that at least one VW brand - mostly likely Audi or Porsche - will enter in 2026.From F1's point of view, that would be a vote of confidence from the world's second largest car company in a direction of travel based on the premise that electrical power is not the only answer to a sustainable future for motive transport. They will retain levels of performance similar to the existing engines by a major scaling up of the power produced by the other part of the hybrid system, the bit that recovers energy from the rear axle, the MGU-K.This helps secure the key aims of the new engine formula - that the engines be both simpler, and much less expensive. Audi, Mercedes and Porsche have all pulled out of Formula EWhat other debate points are there?As the MGU-H is central to the operation of current F1 power-units, getting rid of it effectively requires all manufacturers to design brand new engines. F1 is considering several options to replace conventional fuelWhat are these sustainable fuels?The introduction of sustainable fuels is a key part of a strategy for the whole of F1 to be net-zero carbon by 2030.The sport has taken a small step in this direction this year, with the introduction of so-called E10 fuels, 10% of which are made from biofuels, exactly like the new fuel introduced on UK garage forecourts this summer.

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