Analysis: Will hydrogen power be a future solution for F1? | F1 News – Motorsports

Recent discussions about where Formula 1 should go in the engine in the long run tended to focus on two distinct options.

On the one hand, there is an effort on hybrids (internal combustion engines with additional battery power) that are associated with greater advances in more sustainable fuels. This is an option taken by F1.

Then there was a lot of talk about using all electricity even further. But the fact that battery-powered technology can’t propel a 200mph racing car that can run on flat tires for two hours in connection with FE’s 25-year exclusive contract means it’s not a beginner so far. To do.

But there is a third option that is quietly bubbling in the background.

And while this technology is a bit premature for the next cycle of F1 engine rules from 2025, it’s definitely something that could be seriously considered within the next decade. That is the power of hydrogen.

This Week’s Announcement Red Bull Advanced Technologies To help design the chassis concept The hydrogen-fueled Le Mans sports car rekindled interest in this topic and prompted some fresh thoughts on whether it could be done in F1.

Red Bull is working with French racing car constructor ORECA to create what is known as the H24 concept. It is intended to drive hydrogen class cars in the 2024 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Successful ambitious plans open up a world of opportunities to build high-performance racing cars with zero carbon dioxide pollution. In fact, the only by-product from the car is water.

In a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen is oxidized to positive hydrogen ions and electrons, and when the electrons are emitted, an electric current is generated in the drive motor. The electrons then react with oxygen to produce water.

The concept of the H24 car is serious. The car is the first incarnation and aims for about GT3 level performance.

It aims to achieve a maximum speed of 300km / h and produce 550kW (about 730hp) at 17,000rpm.

Acceleration from 0 to 100km / h takes about 3.4 seconds. This is compared to 2.3 seconds for F1 and 2.8 seconds for FE. However, keep in mind that H24 cars are much heavier.

The engine will be a direct drive. That is, there are no gear shifts, clutches or differentials.

In addition, the 8.6 kg fuel tank, which stores 700 bar of hydrogen, can be filled from the sky in 3 minutes. It is hoped that a full tank will be able to power the car for about 45 minutes.

In terms of performance, the first version is clearly not at the level required by F1, but it will be the first step in improving technology so that it can meet the needs of Grand Prix racing in the long run.

This not only increases the pace, but also means how far the car can run. The 3-minute pit stop to fill the tank is not very F1 …

There are still some ways for hydrogen, Manufacturers around the concept.

Major automakers like Mercedes are currently working on electricity futures trading, but last year CEO Orakarenius talked about the appeal of hydrogen engines. Hydrogen engines are now better suited for larger commercial vehicles.

“This is one of the technologies we are working on for a CO2-neutral future and we have been working on it for 25 years,” he says.

“We go first in terms of deployment in roads, heavier trucks, and some bus applications, but ultimately it won’t work without the accompanying green hydrogen.”

The story of cleanly produced hydrogen is interesting because it is a specialty of INEOS, the co-owner of Mercedes.

Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of the chemical company, says hydrogen production was what his company was a market leader. So it could be a great route for F1.

“I don’t know how relevant it is to F1 in the long run, but looking at INEOS’s hydrogen economy, it’s probably the largest hydrogen producer in Europe,” he said.

“We are the leader in the technology of the future that produces hydrogen from water, which is an electrolysis process. It takes water molecules and divides them electrically. INEOS is bigger than anyone else in that game in Europe. is.”

Turning water into fuel to power a car is amazing for sustainable motorsport, as the only by-product is to increase water.

However, beyond idealism, there are actually major hurdles to overcome.

First of all, in order to have a realistic hope of getting a hybrid nod, technology needs to guarantee F1 level performance.

That way, even if hydrogen generators perform that way within the next decade, they will be costly.

One of the realities that F1 needs to tackle, and what’s wrong with current hybrid rules is that it focuses only on the technology itself, not on real-world considerations such as the money manufacturers need to be competitive. Was to guess.

plus: Is the Robot Pit Crew and Hydrogen-DTM concept plausible?

This is a factor recently quoted by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali in talking about potential future engine regulation and attracting manufacturers.

“I think Formula 1 has a great future that shows that there is no electrification in the automotive world,” he told Sky.

“Hybridization is a great path and I think it has a great future. Formula 1 uses it to ensure that OEMs invest and show that there is this way that is otherwise sustainable. is needed.

“It’s about paying great attention to costs and focusing the attention of teams and OEMs into the future. The mistakes made in the past were related to prioritizing technology only. There is none.”

So far, hydrogen is not F1’s answer. Instead, the plan for a hybrid that is powered by sustainable fuel is to check the boxes of teams, manufacturers, and sponsors.

But even before the next-generation F1 hybrid engine gets off to a good start at the start of the 2025 F1 season, the Le Mans 2024 gives a glimpse into what the long-term future of sport will look like.

– Motorsports

Analysis: Will hydrogen power be a future solution for F1? | F1 News Analysis: Will hydrogen power be a future solution for F1? | F1 News

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