Formula 1 could switch to two-stroke hybrid eco-fuel engines in 2025
Formula 1 is starting the process of looking at future engines for the sport following the decision to continue using the current V6 hybrid powerunits until 2024 or 2025, and the sport's chief technial officer, Pat Symonds, believes two-stroke engines could be the answer.
Whilst they're generally known for being used in outboard motors, small bikes and lawnmowers, Symonds says the issues associated with these small engines are no longer relevant and they would boost efficiency and solve F1's noise problem.
"We need to look at what our future power units will look like," Symonds said during an energy-efficiency conference at the Motorsport Industry Association as quoted by Motorsport Magazine.
"At F1 this is what we are engaged in at the moment. I’m very keen on it being a two-stroke [engine].
"Much more efficient, great sound from the exhaust and a lot of the problems with the old two strokes are just not relevant any more," he added.
"The opposed piston engine is very much coming back and already in road car form at around 50 per cent efficiency.
"Direct injection, pressure charging, and new ignition systems have all allowed new forms of two-stroke engines to be very efficient and very emission-friendly. I think there’s a good future for them."
As part of the new engine rules, a switch to synthetic eco-fuels, made by combining hydrogen with carbon captured from the air, could see F1 become greener than all-electric racing series' such as Formula E.
Symonds believes the combustion engine still has a long and viable future ahead of it, adding: "I think there’s a very high chance that there might still be an internal combustion engine but maybe it’s running on hydrogen.
"I certainly think that the internal combustion engine has a long future and I think it has a future that’s longer than a lot of politicians realise because politicians are hanging everything on electric vehicles.
"There’s nothing wrong with electric vehicles but there are reasons why they are not the solution for everyone."