Formula One technical director Ross Brawn has said that the entire sport could go all-electric within the next ten years if it provides a better show for the audience members.
F1 is currently working on a series of plans as part of their revision of engine regulations for the 2021 season, but most of is still being based on the V6 turbo-hybrid formula engine that all the teams that compete are using at the moment. A possible shift to F1 cars that run completely on electricity has not been given too much considering in the last few years, but the amount of electric cars that are hitting the roads, Brawn is now willing to completely rule them out in the racing scene within the next 10, or even 5 years.
Right now, the only professional racing series that features all-electric cars is Formula E, which is set to enter its fifth season with the newly upgraded Gen2 car. The level of performance is still a significant step down from normal Formula One racing, but the new cars have undergone upgrades that have doubled their store capacity as compared to the Gen1 car used for the previous four season, and a power output of 250kW.
Brawn has also stated that F1 does not see Formula E as a rival, but is open to the idea of an F1 car that is fully electric if it provided both a spectacle worthy of the sport, as well as good quality racing. Speaking in an interview, Brawn said that that they have to respect what Formula E is doing and achieving, but despite this, the two different racing scenes are not really comparable in terms of the amount of fans that go and watch, mainly due to the appeal of Formula One, with Formula E still being quite junior in that respect. This can be seen in mobile betting sites, where Formula One tends to be the most punted of modern motorsports.
He continued by saying that Formula One will continue to evolve in a direction that contains the correct balance of engagement, sport, and relevance with the fans, and that if in five or ten years time there’s a desire to have a different type of power unit in the sport, then they are prepared to shift over to it. He added that there is nothing currently that’s stopping them from eventually seeing Formula One cars that run off of electric engines within the future.
The aim of the current 2021 regulations is to change the engines, making them more affordable, more powerful, and louder, but the regulations will also retain the V6 turbo architecture. Many fans have called for a return to the loud, naturally-aspirated V10s and V8s, but Brawns has stated that it’s not part of the F1’s agenda for the future.
Speaking about the issue, Brawn said that manufacturers at the moment have committed themselves to the current range of engines, and that it’s very unlikely that they would have an engine revolution any time soon.