Motorsport Blog
Topic

Motorsport Blog

F1 heading for the 'museum to the combustion engine' - climate change leader

Formula 1 and all other forms of motorsport which rely on the internal combustion engine are destined for the museum - and soon - according to Chri...

F1 heading for the 'museum to the combustion engine' - climate change leader
Listen to this article

Formula 1 and all other forms of motorsport which rely on the internal combustion engine are destined for the museum - and soon - according to Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the 2015 Paris convention on climate change.

Figueres is now co-chair of the new advisory board for Formula E, along with Alain Prost, four times world F1 champion. She sees her role as being to challenge and to spur the series on to transform the automotive and transport world to decarbonise.

Speaking at the launch of the new title sponsorship by tech giant ABB of the Formula E electric racing series in London today, Figures challenged both Formula E boss Alejandro Agag and ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer to bring about the "museum to the combustion engine" and to put a date on when it would happen.

"We have a lot to thank it (IC engine) for, it got us where we are today," she said, but noted,"I challenge you to put a date on it (when the IC engine would be history).

"We are now in a race to the future, to decarbonise the world. It is unstoppable, it's just a question of when."

Asked by this site after the event whether this meant that Formula 1 as the pinnacle of motorsport would have to become electric or become obsolete, she agreed.

The Costa Rican, who has been Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2010, suggested that racing involving internal combustion engines would have a future as an entertainment, a retro series, given that there are many beautiful cars from the last 100 years that people would want to see - and hear - race.

But as a global sporting business and as a technology leader for the automotive industry there was no question of a long term for a series which uses hybrid or any other form of fossil fuel power units.

Ross Brawn

Speaking to Popular Science Editor Joe Brown at the end of 2017, F1 managing director motorsports Ross Brawn was asked about F1 having an electric future and responded, "“I don’t see it in the next five to 10 years. I can’t see that.

“We have some tough questions to ask ourselves."

For the short term, he added, the new owners' view is that what F1 needs is that "The show has to be the number-one priority. The racing, the drivers, the history, the noise, the smell, the atmosphere.”

Mercedes is reputed to be building a new V6 hybrid engine for this new F1 season, with 1,000hp from just 1.6 litres. But Mercedes is also entering Formula E and F1 team boss Toto Wolff says, "The reason for us joining is that our road cars are gonna go electric — that’s a fact."

There is an hourglass running on Formula 1's future as a fossil fuel powered series. As governments increasingly set dates to call time on sales of petrol and diesel engined cars, the waist aperture of that hourglass opens up.

The question, as Figures says, is how long?

What do you think of these suggestions? Leave your comments in the section below

shares
comments
Rapid charge pits stops? Boost for Formula E as tech giant comes in as title sponsor
Previous article

Rapid charge pits stops? Boost for Formula E as tech giant comes in as title sponsor

Next article

Formula E drops minimum pitstop time

Formula E drops minimum pitstop time
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022