Move to E10 fuel 'shouldn't be underestimated' - Mercedes


Mercedes believe that of all the changes being made to Formula 1's technical regulations this year, the move to E10 fuel will be one of the biggest transitions in the short history of the sport's hybrid era.

The switch is part of the sport's commitment to being more environmentally friendly in future, with the ultimate aim of having a net zero carbon footprint by 2030.

Last year cars ran on E5 fuel, which consisted of five per cent ethanol and 95 per cent traditional fossil fuels. This year the amount of sustainable ethanol in the blend will double to ten per cent.

Testing on the new fuel started last July with one unnamed engineer suggesting that it resulted in an initial loss of power of between 60 and 80 kilowatts (equivalent to 80-110 horsepower) from the existing power units.

Since then all teams have been working on adapting their engines, and the deficit is said to be down to around 20hp.

"Honda is working hard to adapt and what I have heard has been positive, although the performance is not yet the same as in 2021," Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko commented recently.

Mercedes' power unit boss Hywel Thomas says that his team isn't underestimating the impact that the new fuel regulations will have on this year's competition.

"When we're developing the fuel it's a partnership between ourselves and Petronas to make sure that the fuel is enjoying the PU experience, and the PU is enjoying the fuel experience," he told

"It was a sizeable undertaking to make sure that we really developed that fuel," he said. "The number of candidates that we had, the single cylinder running, the V6 running - it shouldn't be underestimated how much work that took.

“There have been bio components in the fuel throughout the hybrid era," he continued. "What we had was a requirement to have 5.75 per cent by volume of bio components.

“The change this year is that percentage has gone up," he explained. "It's gone up to 10%, and instead of it being open what bio components you use you've had to use ethanol."

Thomas said that the change in the proportion of bio content meant that the engine reacted differently to the fuel, with Mercedes achieving mixed results thus far.

"Some areas of performance we're really, really happy with," he said. "And other areas where honestly we're less happy.

"What we have to do is change the fuel where we can, and change the hardware of the PU where we can, in order to maximise the effects of the things we do like, and minimise the effects of the things we don't."

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