Formula 1 is on track to deliver 100% sustainable fuels for 2026

By 2030, it is expected that there will be nearly two billion cars on the road, with only 8% of those being Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVS). This means that other solutions are needed to reduce carbon emissions.

As part of F1’s plans to become Net Zero Carbon by 2030, the sport is a pioneer in providing a 100% sustainable fuel that can not only be used in F1 cars from 2026 but can be used crucially by most road cars worldwide.

F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds heads the team focused on creating this revolutionary fuel and has spent months deep in research to create the best quality product for 2026.

Read more: F1 continues to push to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2030

“It was an amazing challenge,” Symonds says. “At the time I was first talking to people about this, no one knew what I was talking about, and to be honest I’m not sure I really did, so I did a lot of research on this. We worked closely with the consortium. International Automobiles, which has two very good fuel specialists and we have a lot of help from our partner Aramco.”


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Pat Symonds has been instrumental in pushing this challenge forward
The fuel revolution has already begun, with the new generation of Formula 1 cars running on “E10” fuel – a blend of 90% fuel and 10% renewable ethanol – this year. “The 10% of the ethanol we put in now is completely sustainable,” Symonds says. “There are a lot of different types of ethanol, which vary in quality, but this is real green ethanol – so it’s completely sustainable.”

Watch: How Formula 1 strives to create 100% sustainable fuel

The fuel that Formula 1 will be running on in just over three years will be unique and designed in the lab. “E-fuel offers such a fantastic opportunity,” says Ross Brawn – F1 Managing Director, Motorsport. “We work on E fuels where the carbon circuit is completely neutral, so the carbon used to produce this fuel is the same amount of carbon as the internal combustion engine. This means that the engines do not add anything to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


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Current F1 cars are at the forefront on many fronts
“The big appeal is when we find that solution, you can use it in your car on the road, without making any changes to the engine. We will have nearly two billion internal combustion engines on the planet and any electrical solution we find, whatever hydrogen solution we find, it’s still there. Two billion cars There are parts of the world where those cars will not convert to electric cars.

“If we drop a fuel that has a much lower environmental impact in those cars, that would be a positive change and we would send a strong message that this is a feasible way. All the oil companies working in F1 are committed to that. It would be a great achievement and a great message to the world that there are other solutions too.”

Read more: Formula 1 to support Santander start-up challenge for next-generation sustainable solutions

Shifting from 10% renewable fuels in 2022 to 100% in a few years is ambitious, as it requires rapidly increasing product production. But Symonds says F1 is on target.

“We have worked with Aramco and have now tested 39 alternative fuel blends,” Symonds says. “This has helped us understand the effects of the different types of blends you can use on sustainable fuels. We tested those in a single-cylinder Formula 1 power unit, so it’s a representative test – and I think that helped speed up our progress.”


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“F1 has always pushed technology amazingly,” says Ross Brawn.
He adds: “Aramco will produce fuel from two plants, one in Saudi Arabia and the other in Spain. There will be a lot of people who want to get the product out of them, but they, as well as the many other energy suppliers involved in Formula 1, are more than able to produce what we need.”

For more than 70 years, F1 has been at the forefront of innovation, developing the most efficient power unit and hybrid systems ever created. The sport is now focused on helping lead a green revolution for the entire planet.

“F1 has always pushed technology amazingly, creating original technology that can be used in passenger cars, road cars and so on,” Brown says. “We have an incredibly efficient internal combustion engine.

“The concept is that when you set the competition, if you set it with the right goals – if the goal is the best sustainable fuel, manufacturers are going to pour millions into the development process to try to make that happen and then we get all the benefits to the wider community.”

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