Symonds: F1 to tackle fuel use and car weights in 2025 engine regs

2021 Bahrain Grand Prix start

Formula 1 will look to reduce fuel consumption and the weight of the cars with the 2025 engine regulations, F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds told RaceFans.

Reducing the amount of fuel used during a race, currently at a maximum of 110kg, should help with the sport’s pledge to go carbon neutral by 2030, while it has been recognised that action needs to be taken to address the rising weight of the cars, with the minimum weight limit having risen by 17% over the last eight years.

“We’re fighting for mass in F1,” he told RaceFans. “The cars are very, very heavy.

“You could say, in a qualifying lap, does it matter you’re carrying 2kg of fuel instead of 7.5kg of fuel? It’s not the end of the world.

“But if you’re starting a race with 100kg of fuel because your energy density is only half, then you’ve still got a heavy car. So I think it does matter.”

On the prospect of achieving the same performance levels with less fuel, he added: “When I set out what we want to do with this car I said, if you go right to the top level, I want the same performance from the car and I want to use two-thirds of the fuel.

“I said I want the same speed, I want roughly the same lap time, I want roughly the same acceleration, I want roughly the same braking capability and I want roughly the same cornering capability.”

Symonds went onto to explain that by reducing drag through “active aerodynamics”, F1 cars would consume less fuel during a given race.

“You don’t have to be an engineer to realise that one of the reasons we use quite a lot of fuel on these cars is because they’re high-drag,” he said.

“So the first thing you’ve got to do – apart from the fact you’re moving into much more hybridisation, a lot more like electrification on the car – you’ve got to get some drag out of it.

“So there will certainly be some drag reduction. But with that drag reduction comes a downforce reduction so then you can’t go around the corners so fast. So that leads you to say that you’ve really got to have active aerodynamics on the car.”