In recent years, Sebastian Vettel has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction with the choice of current Formula 1 engines – a lack of noise and ‘theatre’ being chief among the gripes, not to mention the extreme costs involved.
According to Vettel they do not offer a spectacle that is part of the sport, both for the drivers and the fans. Out of frustration, he once declared that he wanted the V12 engines to return to Formula 1, and with recent F1 planning, this could well occur.
In the world of motorsport, however, sustainability is becoming more and more of an issue. Vettel, too, is conscious of that fact and does not see it as an obstacle to progress. In order to preserve engine noise and the characteristics of internal combustion engines in the future, he has placed his hopes in synthetic fuels.
“There are some plans for the future and I think the most interesting is the intention to use biofuels or synthetic fuels in the future. This could really make a difference,” said the Ferrari driver in an interview with Sky Sports.
Synthetic fuels do not use fossil raw materials and could theoretically be carbon neutral. However, their development is still in its infancy and Vettel believes that F1 can play a major role in accelerating this process.
“We have the right technology and engineers to move forward more quickly, and this is a whole new role for Formula One.
“We have the resources and we are wasting a lot of money. So why not use it for something useful that can also be implemented on the road”.
Perhaps the reality is that this could be seen as a dead end move with governments recently confirming that the future is electric – the UK government declaring petrol and diesel to be banned by 2030 for instance.
That being said, the full electric targets have been seen by many industry experts as pretty far fetched with current charging point, battery tech/production severely lacking. Further, the cost of EV (electric vehicles) is hugely prohibitive still for the masses.
Maybe if F1 took the lead in synthetic fuels to power existing high-efficiency ICE’s (internal combustion engines), the sport could play a pivotal role in a sustainable non-fossil fuel future and have loud high revving V12’s to boot.
Now that would be having ones’ cake and eating it wouldn’t it?
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