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Renault: F1 engines must go electric

Renault chief Cyril Abiteboul says Formula 1 will be “left behind” if the sport’s set of engine regulations for 2024 do not recognise a global switch towards electrification.
Hybrid power units have been used in Formula 1 since 2014, but the use of Internal Combustion Engines and the burning of fossil fuels is at odds with the prevailing movement of the automobile industry.
MELBOURNE GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 17: Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10, leads Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, and the rest of the field at the start during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 17, 2019 in Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Australia. (Photo by LAT Images)

Although the 2021 regulations remain yet to be decided, the engine formula has been cemented and Abiteboul says that area must be revisited in the next change of rules.

“If I look the pace at which the world is changing, in my opinion, there is a huge risk that F1 will be left behind,” he said. “The world is moving at a very fast pace, and we have to be very careful not to be left behind the road car industry.

“Look at the Greta Thunbergs of this world, look at electrification. Whatever we think of electrification, it’s not going to go away.

“It’s seven years from now, it seems super far. I’m thinking not just for myself, I’m thinking for F1 as a community.

“Basically what that means is I’m trying everything I can and urging everyone to fast track the consideration for a new power unit.

“What it should be, what it should look like, what it should cost, and stopping spending a crazy amount of money.

“Probably that would mean at some point slowing down the investment in the internal combustion engine, and increasing development towards the electric parts.

“Maybe [we should] also consider new sources of energy, like the fuel cell or things like that, which will probably be the future of F1.”

Any potential switch F1 would make to electric powertrains could be impacted by Formula E, which has claimed it would have the power to stop such a move in the past.

Source: GPFans