Dan Istitene – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images
TECHNOLOGY

New F1 Fuel: Cars Will Run on 100% Sustainable Formula by 2026

All the details on Formula 1’s latest sustainability news as it hopes to become a net-zero carbon producer by 2030.

We’re firmly rooted in Formula 1 auto racing‘s turbo-hybrid era. But the innovations don’t stop with a punchy 1.6-liter V6 purring in tandem with a sophisticated electric motor or a cheeky DRS wing.

This week, Formula 1 announced a new step in its march toward reducing the sport’s carbon footprint, and the news is something even more fundamental that the cars’ power units themselves.

In 2026, get ready for a new era for F1 fuel featuring a synthetic formula with a chemical makeup that’s 100% renewable/sustainable. It promises to be a key part of the racing competition’s goal of becoming a net-zero carbon producer by 2030.

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The new fuel is expected to accompany the rollout of next-generation Formula 1 powertrain design standards as well.

So, first thing’s first: What fuel do F1 cars use right now? The answer is E10, so named due to 10% of its formula consisting of ethanol, a renewable/sustainable compound produced from plants like corn. The fully sustainable version won’t simply be “E100” — we don’t have full details on the new recipe as of yet — but Formula 1 has confirmed that it’s actively working with Saudi-based energy company Aramco and other industry leaders to develop the new F1 fuel in time for a launch in fewer than four years’ time.

The news comes as Formula 1 continues its broader push toward sustainability across its operations, including:

  • Converting F1’s offices to run entirely on renewable/sustainable energy sources, a milestone that’s already been achieved
  • Emphasizing remote race broadcast coverage rather than on-site to save on shipping and transportation costs
  • Updating the design of freight containers to enable the use of more fuel-efficient air transport methods

That’s a series of reasonable goals — but let’s hope that F1’s porpoising problems don’t remain a fact of life straight on through 2026.

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