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Formula 1

Aramco’s three-phase plan for 100% synthetic F2/F3 fuel by 2027

by Jack Cozens
2 min read

Aramco will provide a 55% sustainable fuel to Formula 2 and Formula 3 in 2023 as both championships build towards having a fully sustainable fuel by 2027.

That will take place in three phases, with sustainable elements introduced in the first phase (2023/2024), synthetic components arriving for 2025, before a 100% synthetic fuel comes in for 2027.

Aramco intends for the introductory fuel to be a “drop-in” technology and it should not require any changes to the feeder series cars to be made.

“We don’t want only to be sustainable, we want to be sustainable with synthetic fuel and carbon dioxide capture in 2027,” said Pierre-Olivier Calendini, the director at Aramco’s Paris fuel research centre. “It’s much more ambitious than being only sustainable.

“Our real target is to be sustainable and synthetic in 2027 and from that target we build up a road map with a couple of steps. And the first step will be in 2023 to start with sustainable fuel.

“But the development will continue until we reach the really ambitious target of being fully sustainable and synthetic in 2027.”

Motor Racing Fia Formula 3 Championship Saturday Zandvoort, Netherlands

Expanding on the synthetic fuel push and the development process, Calendini said: “We start very quickly to use biosource components that are very close to what we will produce in 2024 to build a quick start and a first step for these fuels.

“Then progressively we will introduce and increase the quantity of molecules made through synthetic processes. Synthetic fuel is a large programme for Aramco so we are currently investing in two pilot productions, one in Saudi Arabia and one in Spain.

“Saudi Arabia will produce e-gasoline for light passenger cars and in Spain we are partnering with Repsol to produce e-diesel and e-jet [fuels]. Then we will use those molecules to make the F2 and F3 fuel and also to think about Formula 1 for 2025, ’26, ’27 fuels.”

That first phase of Aramco’s roadmap includes the 2024 season in which new engines will be adopted in F2, using the same fuel formulation as ’23.

Motor Racing Fia Formula 2 Championship Saturday Zandvoort, Netherlands

“We do not intend to make any change to the cars for next year,” said F2 technical director Didier Perrin.

“This is the beauty of this project, we are developing the engine with the new fuel for 2023, the engines are currently on the dyno and so far we didn’t need to make any hardware change to the engine, just adapt the mapping to the new fuel.”

All FIA world championships will have to use 100% sustainable fuel by 2026, the same year in which Formula 1’s next generation of engine regulations come into force.

F1 and the FIA have also set wider sustainability targets that include the championship becoming net zero carbon by 2030.

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