Formula One motorsport director Ross Brawn has said that the sport could take the all electric route within the next 10 years. He believes that it could provide a better spectacle for the fans.
As of now, Formula One is working on a revised set of engine rules for the 2021 season. However, it will still use the V6 turbo-hybrid formula as the foundation. So far, there has been no serious talk of shift to all-electric F1 cars. However, given the increasing number of electric cars on the road, Brawn isn’t ruling it out.
The only all-electric open-wheel series active the moment is Formula E. The fledgling series will enter its fifth season later this year with an upgraded Gen 2 car. Although the level of performance is a huge step down from Formula One, the new cars will have double the energy store capacity of the Gen1 car.
According to Brawn, Formula E is not being considered a rival to Formula One. However, he admitted that he is open to the idea of an all-electric F1 car. Especially if it provides good quality racing and a spectacle worthy of a series of F1’s calibre.
“I think we have to respect what Formula E is doing and what it’s achieving,” he said. “But if you look at the magnitude of the two they are not really comparable; the amount of fans we have and the appeal of Formula One, Formula E is still very junior in that respect.
“I think Formula One will evolve in the direction that has the right balance of sport, relevance and engagement with the fans. If in five years’ time or ten years’ time there is a need, desire or wish to have a different type of power unit in Formula One then we will do it. There is nothing to stop us having electric Formula One cars in the future.
“Formula One is different to that, Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport, the speeds we do, the calibre of drivers we have and the teams we have, and if that moves in five or ten years’ time to a different power source then we will do it if that is most appealing and achieves what we want to achieve. I don’t see Formula One being locked into internal combustion engines forever, but who knows where we are in ten years.”
He stated that the main objective of the 2021 regulations is to tweak the engines. The idea is to make them louder, more powerful and more affordable. However, the new regulations will retain the current V6 turbo architecture. Although fans have clamoured for a return to V8s or V10s, Brawn dismissed the notion as against F1’s agenda.
“There is a part of me which would love that to happen. I do love the old F1 engines but I don’t see how we could make that step back without such a radical revolution that would really polarise Formula One and split it apart.
“The manufacturers we have in Formula One at the moment are committed to the engines we have now, and should we have a revolution? I don’t think so. I’d love to have those engines but it’s not going to happen, so we need to evolve the engines we have now and learn the lessons from introducing these engines to see how we can take them in a direction that is a bit more appealing to the fans.”