Todt does not expect F1 to go 100% electric for decades

Todt with Formula E boss Agag
Todt (L) with Formula E boss Agag

The FIA, the governing body also over Formula One, will soon begin recognizing Formula E as world championship, and manufacturers are flocking to it by the season. But all of that isn’t putting pressure on F1 to go electric—at least, not that F1 is letting us onto.

Motorsport.com quotes FIA president Jean Todt as saying it’ll be decades before F1 goes electric, if it even goes at all.

F1 has competed with a hybrid, 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 unit since 2014, when it left behind the beloved V8 era. That also happened to be the year that Formula E ran its first race with all-electric open-wheel cars, and the series has been a magnet for automaker participation since. Both Audi and Porsche left Le Mans competition in order to start Formula E teams within a year of each other, and the most dominant name in the current era of F1, Mercedes, made its first start in the series this year.

But in F1, Todt said hybrids are the way to go for now, both in terms of expected performance and the concept that they can be made more environmentally friendly. From the Motorsport.com:

“At the moment you can only consider F1 with a hybrid engine," said Todt. “You cannot envisage to have FE substituting F1. 300kms? There is not one [electric] race car able to do 300km at the F1 speed today.

“It will be decades before it can happen, if it does happen.

“Today hybrid is the proper choice, the next step is to see how we can secure greener fuels."

“I think this is an offensive issue, not a defensive issue," he said. “Electric is going to be part of the solution. But you know, they got their own issues, whether it’s economics or batteries, what have you. But I think there are a lot of issues around it.

“I think the hybrid engine can actually be, in many ways, one of the most important, if not the most important component of addressing a billion plus cars out there today with combustion engines. And we can, through initiatives like fuels, fuel technology, and energy recapture, continue to make that space."

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