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Should Formula One go Electric?

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Formula One's Electric Revolution

April 1st 2019 marked a new dawn of F1 racing. Sporting body FIA announced that the FIA Formula One World Championship will be switching to completely electric engines by 2021. Despite initial question marks over the capability of electric engines in the F1 Championships, Formula One chiefs seemed confident that all-electric engines will be able to sufficiently cope with the high-demands of F1 racing. FIA President Jean Todt stated the following in reaction to the news: 'Today marks an important step in Formula One's long and illustrious history. The decision to move to all-electric powertrains has been talked about for years, but only now have we decided to move forward with this idea. Formula One has a proud reputation for being at the forefront of innovations in racing technology, which is being highlighted by the ground-breaking regulations that shall be introduced in time for the 2021 season.'

Despite this seeming landmark decision, progress seems to have halted, with Formula One reluctant to follow their Formula E counterparts. This prompted criticism from Sebastian Vettel, who cited the worlds environmental problems in the context of the gas-guzzling sport. Vettel stated the following: ''When it comes to the environment, we are burning fuel which is a very small amount of the total carbon footprint but still we need to start acting more and more setting the right example, not just on carbon footprint, but on other things.'

There does seem to be progress in regard to Formula One's environmental stance however. In late 2019, F1 chiefs launched a plan to become carbon neutral by the year 2030. Though many deem this an unrealistic aim, it's undoubtedly a step in the right direction. The sport plans to move to synthetic fuels when the next engine formula is tested in the latter parts of the decade. Though some fans believe the aim of carbon neutrality is simply unfeasible, F1 has always been a somewhat trendsetter in maximising environmental efficiency. Their revolutionary step in 2014 to introduce turbo-hybrid engines saw F1 car engines' thermo-efficiency in excess of 50%- standard road cars are in the region of 30%.

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