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    Formula-fed engines // FIA is preparing to abandon the use of fossil fuels

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    The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has approved the “motor” regulation, which will come into force from the 2026 season. In addition to purely technical and financial aspects, such as eliminating the use of the MGU-H node or introducing a spending limit on power plants, the new regulation contains a requirement to completely phase out the use of fossil fuels. It is planned to be replaced by synthetic gasoline. Behind this lies something more than just the desire to comply with fashionable environmental trends. This is an attempt to develop technologies for the production of fuels that will be used in conventional cars in the foreseeable future.

    The FIA ​​​​World Motorsport Council approved motors. It will come into effect from 2026.

    Note that the power plants used on Formula 1 cars are hybrid. They are based on 1.6 -liter turbocharged V6 engines plus an electric part. The designated MGU-H unit, in fact, is a motor-generator mounted on the turbine shaft. Its use allows you to generate electricity, as well as spin the turbine faster when required. It was assumed that in Formula 1 the design of the MGU-H would be worked out enough for this assembly to migrate to civilian cars in the future (as happened with dual-clutch gearboxes at one time). However, it turned out to be too expensive and complicated. It is planned to compensate for the loss of power resulting from the abandonment of the MGU-H by a threefold increase in the power of the electric motor – up to 475 l / s. The total maximum power of the power plant will exceed 1 thousand liters. With. However, as noted on the official Formula 1 website, the rejection of the MGU-H can lead to a turbo lag. But the Formula 1 management is confident that the difficulties that the racers will have to face will only add charm to the stages. million per year. Starting from 2026 – $ 130 million Note that so far, the cost of engines has not been limited in any way. and others were brought out from under the spending ceiling. This season it is $ 141 million. The FIA ​​also promised to less severely punish drivers for extra-regular replacement of power plants. At the moment they can use three installations per season. If additional engines (or important parts of them) are used, the rider will be penalized with a loss of places on the starting grid. Under the updated rules, the FIA ​​intends to less severely penalize riders, if at the same time their teams do not get out of the budget limits. Details will be released at a later date.

    Note that this season they are racing on a mixture of gasoline and ethanol (in a ratio of 9 to 1). From 2026, racing cars must be fueled with synthetic gasoline. In itself, its use is not something revolutionary. Various types of synthetic fuels have been around for a long time. Note that the International Energy Agency defines “synthetic fuel” as any liquid fuel derived from coal or natural gas. raw materials. But the FIA ​​seems to have groped or think they have groped for a different approach. Detailed information about what this very synthetic gasoline will be is not yet available. But by indirect evidence, we can conclude that in terms of calories it will be no worse than the traditional one. No wonder the FIA ​​ordered the teams to reduce fuel consumption in 2026 to 70 kg per race against the current 100 kg. By the way, back in 2013 the limit was 130 kg.

    The world’s largest oil company ARAMCO will produce the new fuel at two plants in Spain and Saudi Arabia. They are yet to be built, and they will start working no earlier than 2023.

    The FIA ​​notes that this approach will achieve complete carbon neutrality – only the carbon that was obtained from it during its manufacture will return to the atmosphere when fuel is burned. However, judging by the words of Pat Symonds, who oversees the fuel project, in reality the project is much more complicated than in words. He admitted that in the course of his communication with specialists, they often did not even always understand what he wanted from them. But there is progress. According to Mr. Symonds, 39 fuel mixtures have already been tested and the results are encouraging.

    But the most important thing in the FIA ​​fuel project, and it, we note, is still the International Automobile Federation and is engaged in the development of motoring in all its aspects (actually motorsport is just one of the activities of the FIA, albeit the most noticeable), is that the new fuel must be suitable for use in existing conventional cars. The FIA ​​noted that by 2030, about 2 billion ICE vehicles will be used in the world. Even if a number of Western countries begin to abandon the use of such cars from 2030, the number of electric vehicles and hybrids in the global car fleet will not exceed 8%. Pat Symonds noted that there are entire countries and regions that simply do not want or cannot switch to the use of electric trains. For them, the opportunity to obtain synthetic fuel, the production of which is not tied to oil supplies, is very important.

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