Formula 1 2022: This is how biofuel could tip the scales

( – From the Formula 1 season 2022, the new vehicle and new rules will be used. The teams then have to fill up with biofuel, which consists of ten percent sustainable ethanol. Since the biofuel has special cooling properties, completely new solutions could be developed in the teams’ development departments.

Sebastian Vettel

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The petrol suppliers of Formula 1 have already started to develop the full potential of bio fuel. Ferrari’s partner Shell closely examined the new product and found impressive characteristics that could ultimately decide whether it wins or not. The main focus is on the cooling properties of ethanol, which could open up a completely new direction of development for the teams.

Shell Formula One development chief Benoit Poulet told ‘’: “The cooling effect, which is similar to an ethanol-based gel, is interesting for the performance of the car. You can feel the cooling effect on your fingers and you will it’s also for the engine. The ethanol could cool parts of the drive train and that can be a big advantage. We’re working very hard on it. ”

Cooling properties increase performance

According to Shell, the properties of the fuel could also have an impact on the ignition, which could make further exciting developments possible.

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“We have already found that the cooling effect is good for the engine,” said Poulet. But why does ethanol cool so well? To vaporize, the bio-fuel would have to be three times as hot as regular gasoline. This is an advantage because the cooler the fuel when it is injected, the more power the engine generates.

This finding could influence the complete design of the new car: the teams could run the engines at completely different temperatures, which in turn could have an impact on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Shell has therefore been working on decoding the new fuel since the new regulations were laid down.

E10 fuel a “big challenge”

“It’s a big challenge, but we’re looking forward to switching to the E10 fuel,” said Poulet. “We would be even happier if it were more than ten percent. We have involved employees in the project who are familiar with E10 fuel. It is a big change because ethanol has completely different properties than other hydrocarbons.”

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Shell therefore started development early and hired a full-time employee for the project. “We now understand well the advantages of the E10 fuel,” believes Poulet.

The new cars should actually be launched in 2021. Since the coronavirus crisis swirled the 2020 season upside down, Formula 1 and the teams agreed not to apply the new regulations until the 2022 season.

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