The fact that Porsche might consider getting into Formula 1 would obviously be of great interest to racing fans and fans of the brand. The Stuttgart-based company has reportedly held talks with F1 representatives about new engine rules. However, Porsche wants to inform them that their entry would depend on the racing series becoming more environmentally friendly – especially with synthetic fuels.
Porsche has been talking a lot about synthetic fuels, also known as eFuels, lately. Last week, the company announced that using eFuel to power an ICE car can cut emissions by 85 percent and be as clean as a battery-electric vehicle, considering the wheel-to-borehole life cycles.
According to the BBC, Porsche now appears to be dangling the carrot of its participation in order to persuade F1 to introduce eFuels. In a statement too BBC Sports, Vice President of Porsche Motorsports Fritz Enzinger said of the F1 engine rules for 2025: “It would be of great interest if aspects of sustainability – for example the implementation of e-fuels – played a role.”
For its part, Formula 1 has committed itself to becoming climate neutral by 2030. Biofuels will play a key role in this, and last December the FIA delivered the first kegs to engine manufacturers for testing. However, these are not the same eFuels that Porsche is pushing for.
The current fuel is what Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer of F1, referred to as second generation biofuel in 2019 – developed from agricultural, forestry or household waste (the first generation is made from plants that are specifically designed to be converted into fuel own environmental disadvantages were grown).
EFuel’s Porsche that Symonds is talking about is a third-generation fuel that is entirely human-made and does not contain unwanted elements like fossil fuels, which are converted into environmentally harmful particles during the combustion process. They also have the enormous advantage – at least for owners of classic cars – of being able to supply existing ICEs with power without changes.
If Porsche doesn’t say that the introduction of eFuels would also guarantee participation in F1. “If these aspects are confirmed, we will evaluate them in detail in the VW Group and discuss further steps,” Enzinger told the BBC.
While Porsche isn’t the inventor of eFuel, it’s the noisiest auto company right now. The team-mate of the Volkswagen Group Audi has also expressed interest, and at the beginning of February Mazda was quietly the first carmaker to do so Join the European eFuel Alliance.
To be clear, Porsche isn’t saying eFuels will eliminate the need for electrification. Keeping ICE cars on the road that is cleaner than what we currently have is just an alternative. It will also prove useful in sectors such as aerospace where batteries are not an effective source of power due to their considerable weight.
Of course, companies like Porsche and Mazda also have a vested interest in keeping their brand heritage, which is based on classic ICE vehicles, alive with electrification. It seems that further research into the effectiveness of eFuels is a worthwhile endeavor, and we cannot think of a better laboratory than the racing melting pot.