Sustainable Speed

Sustainable speed is the theme of this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup as I cover the sustainable technologies that will be powering motorsport in the future.

I cover eFuels, hydrogen and ultralight battery-based engines as teams and manufacturers look to squeeze the maximum out of numerous technologies to ensure that they are both fast and sustainable.

All this plus a look at the challenges of developing a 2026 F1 powertrain, Peugeot and BMW’s interest in going hydrogen in the WEC and an interview with the Electric Renegade.

This and much more in this week’s Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

Sustainable Motorsport News

Mercedes F1 Transporter

Biofuels International explains how the Mercedes F1 team is targeting an over 60% emissions reduction by switching to biofuel.

Alice Ashpitel, head of sustainability at the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 team, said: “Our aspiration to achieve a fully biofuelled European season is a challenging and complex project which has been ongoing behind the scenes at the team for over a year.”

With the support and collaborative effort of our expert partners, we are tackling a key pillar in our strategy for achieving net-zero and supporting the wider adoption of HVO100 across the sport and logistics industries.”

This project marks another step in our sustainability journey, but we are on a learning curve. From the evidence of our trial, we are excited to see that 89% emissions reduction is possible for every journey that our trucks make, whilst recognising that supply challenges in sourcing HVO100 across Europe remain significant.”

Motorsport UK has a great overview of their sustainability activities in Racing for the Environment.

When we consider environmental impact, we talk about buckets of emissions in five key areas,” explains Motorsport UK’s Head of Sustainability Jess Runicles. “That is competition, team logistics, marshals and volunteers, spectators and the venue. Everything can be attributed into one of those five categories and we have been using that as a basis to try to work out how much we emit as a sport.”

It has been a huge exercise and we have spent a whole year working with a specialist consultancy who have experience in calculating environmental impact for sport. We have been talking to different clubs with different disciplines, interviewing them and understanding what a standard event looks like. There are lots of different factors that affect the emissions – for example the type of event, the number of competitors, marshals and so on.”

We have then created algorithms that can calculate a total emissions figure dependant on these factors and we can then extrapolate that based on licenses and permits. Not all of our events have spectators, and each different type of event has its own different emissions profile, so there is no one-size-fits-all solution.”

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Is It Fast has a great interview with electric racer and Motorsport Prospects contributor Ellis Spiezia where he talks about his journey to sustainable racing. “For me, it’s about choosing an unproven path, paving the way, and hopefully with what I’ve done so far, I was able to pave a path that some younger drivers can follow in the next few years to make the step up.

Sustainable Motorsport Tech

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Sebastien Vettel will drive Nigel Mansell’s 1992 title-winning Williams Renault and Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco Grand Prix-winning McLaren Ford using P1 Fuels sustainable fuel at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. “The cars required no modifications to their V10 and V8 engines to operate with the direct replacement fuel. He will drive the pair up the festival’s iconic hill course over the weekend.”

Porsche explains how to make eFuels truly sustainable at their new production facility in South America. “Synthetic fuels can potentially run internal combustion engines almost CO₂ neutrally – when they are produced with renewable energy.”

Mercedes AMG HPP’s Hywel Thomas talks F1 2026 powertrains in an interview with Professional Motorsport World magazine. Thomas flagged up the loss of the MGU-H as significant, given its key contribution to combustion control in the current generation of very lean running engines. The 3,000Mj energy limit will force manufacturers to further improve efficiency, despite having a fewer tools to deploy. “Everyone thinks that the MGU-H is the work of the devil, but actually, it’s a fantastic engineering tool – we probably didn’t talk about it enough. And that’s going away and it’s going to put a real strain on the combustion.”

Peugeot and BMW have signaled interest in the adoption of hydrogen fuel as the basis for a future category in the FIA World Endurance Championship while Porsche, Lamborghini and Audi are keeping an eye on the technology. “It could be interesting,” he told Sportscar365. “For now, we have to focus on our hybrid technologies. The next regulation could be hydrogen, it could make sense.”

Tamiya Wild One MAX

The Tamiya Wild One MAX has been revealed by The Little Car Company, a manufacturer of hand-built electric scaled cars. The full-scale vehicle is based on the original Tamiya Wild One, a well-known remote-controlled car that was first released in 1985. “A total of eight swappable battery packs are now used to power the 500kg vehicle, capable of delivering a total capacity of 14.4kWh, an estimated range of 200km – when driven on the road – and a top speed of 100km/h. Furthermore, each Wild One MAX has been developed to include a road-legal pack in compliance with L7e quadricycle regulations for the UK and EU markets.”

UK-based electric motor manufacturing business Helix has revealed details of its latest propulsion package: Scalable Core Technology (SCT). The SCT solution is available in stock, configured or custom formats, enabling the company to provide powertrain components which match the power requirements of its customers, right down to the exact specification. Recently, Helix’s X-Division were tasked with manufacturing a bespoke hypercar motor under the project name REB. The product, named the SPX177, is the most powerful pure battery-electric vehicle motor produced by the company to date, weighing just 28kg but delivering 650kW of continuous power.

It’s small and weighs just 41kg, including the 13kg inverter. It is a 2x 3-phase motor, so its current is shared across two inverters, a necessary approach to meet the phase current demands at ‘normal’ DC voltages at this extremely high power level. Both the motor and inverter have extremely high power density. Six high-voltage cables connect the inverter to the motor, while an LV connector carries the various control signals.”

Series News

Sustainable Motorsport Roundup

Formula E CEO Jeff Dodds discusses his new role, ambitions, and the Change. Accelerated. Live. conference in a new interview with BlackBook Motorsport. “On the other hand, the noise and amplification, it should be created around the messaging of the sport, which is incredibly competitive racing and being all about Net Zero from day one. The fact that you can showcase sustainability through an exciting racing series, I don’t think we’ve turned the volume up on that, I don’t think we’ve told enough people about it, and I don’t think we’ve used the media around the world widely enough to bring our product and show it to more people.”

Extreme E has partnered with Siemens and GeoPura who will provide consultancy expertise in the development of the series’ car as part of the championship’s transition towards hydrogen. “The Extreme H car will retain the same powertrain and chassis used in Extreme E. The key differentiating factor in Extreme H will be the hydrogen fuel cell that replaces the battery as the principal energy source. Further details regarding the transition to hydrogen and the Extreme E championship will be announced in due course.”

In the recent announcement that the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe would ending the race in Saudi Arabia with the Jeddah 1000km, he promised the teams there would be plenty of subsidies for transport and it would be done in a sustainable way.

Ratel added that, due to the subsidies, it will cost no more for teams to take part in the Jeddah 1000km than it would for them to do an Endurance Cup round in Europe. The current plan is for team trucks and cars to be loaded onto one vessel and sea-freighted from Europe to Saudi Arabia in a “roll-on, roll-off” fashion like the Dakar Rally. Ratel projected that the sea-freight voyage will take around 12 days and said that air transportation will not be used due to its environmental impact.”

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.