This week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup follows up on last week’s discussion of the new Formula E Gen3 car with Luca di Grassi’s vision as well as news on some preliminary plans for Gen4. I also look at some awesome work being done in the ERA Championship with their partner Software AG, tech details of an ETCR car, electric rallycross and more.
- Last week in the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup I discussed the new Formula E Gen3 car. This week, Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi explains how he would have (re)designed Gen3.
- Building on the positive momentum of their Gen3 car unveiling and another competitive Monaco ePrix, Formula E have announced that they will be racing in São Paulo. “We are delighted that the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship will be heading to Brazil for the very first time pending approval at the FIA World Motor Sport Council in June,” says Formula E Co-Founder and Chief Championship Officer, Alberto Longo. “The country has a huge, long-standing passion for motorsport, it’s a big market as one of the largest countries in the world, and São Paulo itself is a historic race location.“
- Last week, I had mentioned the rumor that Abt would be returning to Formula E and this week they have made it official. “Formula E has always had a big place in our hearts and we have never made a secret of the fact that we want to be back,” said team boss Hans-Juergen Abt. After the internal kick-off, we are now talking to our current and potential partners. The goal is to bring a strong team to the championship, both on and off track.”
- ABB Formula E also worked hard in Monaco to showcase the future of e-mobility as well as their Gen3 plans. “For ABB, Season 9 also marks the start of its role as Official Charging Supplier. Together with engineers from motorsport’s governing body, the FIA, and Formula E, ABB is developing an innovative and safe solution for charging the Gen3 cars. These portable charging units will be able to charge two cars simultaneously, delivering 80kW of power to each vehicle, for a total of 160kW output per charger. This means each race team will benefit from a ‘double charging’ capacity from one unit and a significant reduction in the charger footprint.”
- While the Gen3 car was just unveiled, talks have all ready begun about what Gen4 should look like. In Monaco last weekend, stakeholders gathered to start work on the Gen4 roadmap. The Race has some details in what went on at Formula E’s secret Gen4 brainstorm meeting.
- Software AG has been announced as the Title Partner of the all-electric ERA Championship. Beth Georgiou, ERA Championship Co-Founder and Director said: “Electric racing is hugely technical and the data coming out of the cars is absolutely unprecedented at this level of the sport. We need to have a platform in place to harness this valuable information and present it to the race teams and drivers when it matters most: when it’s happening. We’ve been working closely with Software AG on that already, and we’re delighted that the team decided to extend our relationship by taking on lead sponsorship of our European race series.” As part of this collaboration, Software AG has written two fascinating articles on what they are working on with the ERA Championship:
- Why electric motorsports is a breeding ground for technophiles: “Being technology-driven is not about cool dashboards, more data to analyze or even the ability to use insights to win. First, it’s about safer cars. Using a technology to understand every aspect of the car allows ERA to frequently alter it to be in the best physical condition, but EV efficiency means that less kinetic energy is released reducing the chances of dangerous accidents with more data on hand to prevent collisions.”
- The future of racing is connected: “With help from the Internet of Things (IoT) and Software AG, its electric racing cars can go as fast as they like and still be in control.”
- The FIA have a great article up on their website explaining The Technology Of FIA’s Maiden Electric Touring Car Series. “The FIA’s first-ever electric touring car competition, the FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup, is set to kick off this weekend. Here is an in-depth overview of the technology and the safety advancements the series relies on.” Meanwhile, the FIA ETCR entry list has been officially confirmed.
- The FIA ETCR has also committed to the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development goals with #TransitionInMotion for 2022. “FIA ETCR is all about changing perceptions of electric vehicles and showing the world that they can have a fast, fun and cool car that also helps them to live in a more sustainable way and looks after the planet and the global community,” said FIA ETCR – eTouring Car World Cup Series Director, Xavier Gavory.
- If you missed this week’s Green Racing News Green Racing Virtual Summit, you can watch all the session on their YouTube channel above.
- VP Racing Fuels has become the exclusive fuel provider for the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, but the new partnership’s blueprint expands beyond merely giving gas for cars. As part of EuroNASCAR‘s goals to become a fossil-free series by 2025, its cars will be powered by VP’s new N20 sustainable gasoline compound. “N20 Race Fuel is the first fuel developed in collaboration with the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series and the first such effort for VP in Europe,” stated VP Director of Sales and Operations Europe Alexej Borscs. “N20 will provide series racers with an innovative race fuel formulation, incorporating 20 percent of second generation sustainable components. These components not only reduce the need for fossil sources and help cut the net greenhouse gas emissions but also come from agricultural waste, a feedstock that does not compete with the food supply chain, bringing both innovation and sustainability to the product. This is an exciting time for both organizations, and we look forward to this new opportunity together.”
- Over at RaceFans, in Why motorsport can’t afford to overlook the tyre pollution problem, Hazel Southwell looks at the issue of tire particulate pollution. “Compared to the carbon dioxide produced by the vehicles themselves, tyre particulate pollution is a less obvious concern. But these too are a source of potentially harmful emissions – one the sport is increasingly realising it must address.”
- Racer looks at Nitro Rallycross and likes what they see. “Rallycross, however, is cutting out the hybrid middleman and going fully electric in 2022. World Rallycross is dipping its toes in the water by retrofitting the existing (and let’s be honest, ageing) cars of the last few years with electric drivetrain kits, while Nitro Rallycross is taking it a whole step further with an all-new, purpose-built car.”
- BTCC drivers have applauded the hybrid introduction after last weekend’s first race of the season. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK, said: “I really enjoyed using the hybrid throughout the opening weekend. It’s another element to think about during races which definitely adds more strategy into the mix, as well as another factor to consider during qualifying.”
- Along with a new power unit, Formula 1 has unveiled their goals for the new 2026 chassis. Aside from the plan of being smaller and lighter (or at least not heavier) there are some interesting aspects revolving around sustainability. In Motorsport Magazine’s F1’s radical new 2026 car: active aero, smaller cars and auto crash prevention, Pat Symonds makes a few interesting points. “It’s active aero – absolutely,” said Symonds when asked how the low drag targets – and therefore greater fuel efficiency – could be achieved. “You can’t just reduce drag to cut fuel consumption because the car won’t go round corners. There will be a reasonable reduction in fuel consumed during the race – my estimate for the moment be 20 per cent, maybe even 25 per cent, less than when we are using at the moment.” He also talks about recyclability. “McLaren is using an eco-friendly carbon-fibre replacement for its driver seats – but Symonds says emphasis should be more on recycling materials already used.”
- Also in F1, Ferrari has talked about their journey to sustainability. “At a time in which sustainability is an important part of the strategic direction of business, we have strengthened our strategy around five pillars.” All is explained in the article and their accompanying video.
Every Little Bit Counts
- Carbon Positive Motorsport, which I talked about last week, sat down to chat with race driver Jim Morris at the recent 79th Goodwood Members meeting about how he incorporates sustainability into his racing. “I believe we all have a responsibility to the future of motorsport, to ensure it is sustainable to allow future generations to continue with the sport, we need to be more responsible.”
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
It seems I am talking about Swiss company Bcomp every other week but their work in sustainable motorsport is significant. Here are two articles that discuss what they are doing and why.