News article

Motorsport bodies collaborate to embrace sustainable tech

December 14 2023

Extreme H – a hydrogen-powered motor racing championship set to commence in 2025 – plus the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the FIA Formula One World Championship have announced plans to establish a joint Hydrogen Working Group.

Motorsport bodies collaborate to embrace sustainable tech

The group will be comprised of representatives from all three organisations including Extreme E’s technical director Mark Grain, F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds and FIA Single Seater Director Nikolas Tombazis. 

The objective is to monitor the progression and development of hydrogen technology – both for the fuel cells and battery systems that will be utilised in Extreme H’s first-generation racing chassis. The group will also look into hydrogen technology within race site infrastructure, transportation, charging, storage and management, as well as its safety implications. 

“Our sport has a tradition of bringing new technologies to the forefront of public perception in incredibly short timescales. We do this by being open-minded to all solutions and embracing cross-functional engineering,” said Symonds. 

“Our sport has a tradition of bringing new technologies to the forefront of public perception in incredibly short timescales." F1 Chief Technical Officer Pat Symonds

“With climate change mitigation at the forefront of everyone’s mind we are committed to promoting sustainability and therefore need to explore all areas of decarbonisation of the mobility sector. This must include sustainable liquid hydrocarbon fuels, electrification and hydrogen. This Working Group enables a collaboration which will allow us to gain first-hand experience and contribute to the understanding and development of the many aspects of hydrogen propulsion that Extreme H will embrace.”

Elsewhere in motorsport, the FIA World Rallycross Championship will open up the field to include sustainably fuelled combustion-engined (ICE) cars in 2024. The new cars will race alongside the current electric entries.

Following two seasons of relying on electric technology, ICE cars will be welcomed back into the fold from next season, running on sustainable fuel. A maximum of 16 entries will be permitted in 2024, with the championship open to applications from non-permanent drivers on a round-by-round basis.

The format has been tweaked in preparation, with the SuperPole shootout replaced by pre-determined starting positions in all heats to ensure greater parity due to track evolution.

Competitors will race for position rather than time to make the format more easily understandable.

Image: Guy from Pixabay

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