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FIA develops “100% sustainable” biofuel for Formula 1

Samples of a new sustainable fuel developed by the FIA have been delivered to Formula 1 engine manufacturers for testing, in line with the sport’s goal to be carbon-neutral by 2030. 

The FIA, as motorsport’s global governing body, has agreed a strategy for F1 to become carbon-neutral from 2021 as part of a wider effort to “reduce the environment impact of motorsport and mobility by setting clear goals to accelerate this progress”. 

To that end, the organisation has commissioned the development of a biofuel claimed to be “100% sustainable” and to conform with F1’s stringent regulations.

The first barrels have now been delivered to Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes-AMG and Renault, which supply the V6 hybrid powertrains to F1’s 10 teams. 

No details have been given on the substance’s make-up, but the FIA claims that it’s “exclusively refined using biowaste”, unlike the high-octane petrol currently used by F1 cars. 

It’s planned that successful trials of the new fuel will prompt F1 suppliers to develop similar substances, with an ultimate end goal of the series using 100% sustainable fuels by 2026.

As of the start of the next F1 season, all teams must use fuel that is 10% biofuel, plus it will be permitted in other series, including the European Truck Racing Championship. 

FIA president Jean Todt said: “[The] FIA takes its responsibility in leading motorsport and mobility into a low-carbon future to reduce the environmental impacts of our activities and contribute to a greener planet. 

“I’m glad that our Members Clubs approve our environmental strategy that’s part of the Purpose Driven initiative focused on the societal contribution of our two pillars. 

“By developing sustainable fuel made from biowaste that can power F1, we’re taking a new step forward. With the support of the world’s leading energy companies, we can combine the best technological and environmental performance.”

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