Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe believes his energy group could help Mercedes develop hydrogen technologies for Formula 1.
The German manufacturer recently introduced hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks, and Ratcliffe believes their alliance as a main sponsor and partner, could help this development.
“I don’t know how relevant this will be in F1 in the long term, but if you look at the hydrogen economy, Ola (the Daimler Mercedes boss) has incredible technologies with hydrogen engines for Mercedes’ heaviest fleet vehicles,” says Ratcliffe.
“At Ineos, we are probably the largest hydrogen producer in Europe and we are a leader in future technologies for the production of hydrogen from water, using an electrolysis process”.
“You take a molecule of water, you separate it with electricity, and Ineos is a bigger player in this game than anybody else, so there are some angles about hydrogen between Mercedes and Ineos.”
Apart from hydrogen, Källenius doesn’t want to abandon synthetic fuels, now seen as a preferred alternative by Mercedes for F1. The group’s CEO explains that this research will not be useless for internal combustion vehicles, which will still be on the road for many decades to come.
“Research into low carbon footprint or carbon neutral fuels, and synthetic fuels, will play a role. If we quickly become electric, we will have a large part of our fleet all-electric by 2030,” notes Ola Källenius.
In addition to this, there will be a fleet of hundreds of millions of vehicles, several million vehicles that will also need to be decarbonised, and Formula 1 may play a role in experimenting with low-carbon fuels”.