FIA plans new Formula 2 engine to run on sustainable fuel from 2024

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The FIA has issued an invitation for engine manufacturers to tender for a contract to supply new power units to the Formula 2 championship from 2024 to 2026.

Formula 1’s leading support series uses 3.4-litre V6 engines which are limited to 8,750rpm. These have been supplied by French manufacturer Mecachrome since the current formula was introduced in 2018, when the series also adopted its current Dallara F2 2018 chassis.

Both chassis and engine had their use extended from their initial three-year cycle for another three seasons. However reliability problems have dogged the current iteration of cars during the first four-and-a-half years of use. Some drivers have gone through more than six engines in a season.

F1 intends to run its cars on sustainable fuel from 2026. Prior to that the product will be tested in F2’s current engine and introduced to the championship in 2024 as a 55% mix.

The new engine must be developed to not only run on that fuel but also be capable of running 100% sustainable fuel in later seasons. The tender specifications further state the engine should be able to accept F1’s current 10% ethanol E10 fuel in case it is needed as a “fall-back solution”.

The FIA’s tender document for the new F2 engine also specifies a lifespan of 10,000 kilometres, which should include dyno hours. A target weight of less than 150 kilograms has been set, meaning the new engine could end up being heavier than the current 132kg unit, albeit with a 10bhp power increase, giving drivers up to 630bhp.

The invitation to tender indicates the successful bidder will either be contracted for a three-year cycle or signed to six seasons with an option triggered by F2’s promoter Formula Motorsport Limited and the FIA. All interested engine builders “are invited to confirm that they would be prepared to accept such term/extension if required” by the submission deadline of September 2nd.

Other requirements for interested builders include having the ability to “obtain the FIA Environmental Accreditation at least at a 2-star level” during the years of the contract, although the FIA “will evaluate offers even if not meeting all requirements” it has set out.

It is not mentioned in the invitation to tender when F2 will introduce a new chassis, but the dimensions specified for the new engine indicate it would need to fit into the current chassis for testing.

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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  • 20 comments on “FIA plans new Formula 2 engine to run on sustainable fuel from 2024”

    1. Sustainable and GP2/F2 seems to be the perfect fit for Honda ;)

      I would’t mind Porsche picking this up as part of their research (and production) of synthetic fuels.

    2. Well that’s all good, but the first priority should be getting a chassis that uses ground effects like F1. Those Hungary races were pretty atrocious.

      1. Interesting statement, given that F2 races better than F1 ever has almost everywhere.
        Hungary is atrocious for racing – the cars themselves are pretty good most places.
        Hungary is in the same class as Monaco and Imola, after all…

        1. I feel like the races are too determined by DRS and/or tyre management.

      2. GP2/F2 has used ground effects since year 1 inception.

    3. F2 should just run F1 1.6 turbo engines without the hybrid stuff….
      Pick one manufacturer to supply all teams.

    4. But what does FIA understand as “sustainable”?
      Some could hyperbolically argue that USA or BRA ethanol were not sustainable.
      Hydrogen is out of the scope because one cant just mix it with gasoline.
      Either they find a proper definition to it or they risk to just use an oil-based fuel provided by some company that bought a lot of carbon credit certificate.

      1. As per Ross Brawn, it means:

        The fuel that F1 will run-in just over three years’ time will be unique and lab-created. “E fuels offer such a wonderful opportunity,” says Ross Brawn – F1’s Managing Director, Motorsports. “We’re working on an E fuel where the carbon circle is completely neutral so the carbon utilised to produce that fuel is the same quantity as the carbon emitted from the internal combustion engine. It means that the engines do not add anything to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

      2. Ethanol (from Brazil) is sustainable, the only problem with it is that you need space for sugar cane plantations. But the entire middle west of Brazil is not a region of rain forest (Amazon) but a vegetation called Cerrado, so there’s a lot of space to grow production. Also the technology evolution from last years helps significatively in production growth. Ethanol isn’t really being considered mostly because of politics and how weak Brazil is internationally to push it to other countries.

    5. Can we drop Mecachrome and get an actual engine manufacturer please.

      1. Would love Judd to get a shot

      2. Bruno Michel make a lot of money with Mecachrome so I doubt he will drop it. Also it’s highly unlikely any other engine manufacturer would have interest anyway.

    6. Just more window dressing with biofuels to make the f1 community look like it is doing something. Both F1 and F2 should be running full electric or hydrogen by now. Not sometime in 2030 when these forms of technology are mainstream. Lack of imagination and why Merc dominates so much and why it makes sense for others like Honda to pull-out.

      1. You assume electric will be mainstream in 2030. No that’s the agenda spouted to make money from the gullible but in reality it’ll never happen, it simply can’t.
        Most of the world will simply not have the infrastructure to run E vehicles in 2030, maybe in 2100!

        So the only way is for biofuels to become the next viable alternative for most.

        1. Dear Superman, Electric will be mainstream But what you have to talk about is how that electric power is carried. You don’t need to electrify everything Hydrogen is also handy and can be tanked like fuel but transform to electricity. Also road induction is something where people are looking into.
          Now 2030 is a bit early but 2040 will be fore sure almost all electric and after 2050 there will be no fuel anymore. (atleast for the common people)

          1. after 2050 there will be no fuel anymore (atleast for the common people)

            That’s about as far from reality as the predictions that we’d all have flying Jetsons cars by the 1990’s.

            In 2050, there will be liquid fuel almost exclusively for the common people, especially in the world’s poorer countries.

      2. I don’t think full electric cars will grow that big outside Europe. I believe in hybridization in the short term.

        1. In the US and Canada and China they have been growing big and will continue to do so. India is next. Hybrids are great and will dominate the more rural areas, including in the countries listed.

      3. That isn’t practical for racing. Internal combustion engines make the most sense for motorsports. With the small scale of their use this isn’t a problem. The problem is only the insistence by some that the technology be relevant for future road cars. I think F1 should stick to the hybrid system and keep optimizing it to be more efficient, more powerful, and lighter.

    7. Does anyone know what they mean by ‘sustainable fuel’? Hopefully this doesn’t mean biofuels which displace land for food crops or forests?

    Comments are closed.