Newey looking at other F1 fuel solutions after Extreme E visit

Henry Valantine
Red Bull design guru Adrian Newey. Austria July 2021

Red Bull Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey walking through the Red Bull Ring paddock. Austria July 2021

Adrian Newey thinks Formula 1 should look at multiple solutions about the fuel of the future, having witnessed how Extreme E operates.

The Red Bull chief technology officer is a part of the management team of Veloce Racing, which finished seventh in the championship in the inaugural Extreme E season in 2021.

The Extreme E cars are all-electric SUVs, run on batteries which are charged by hydrogen and create up to the equivalent of 540bhp as they race off-road.

Having witnessed a race, Newey thinks the idea of expanding hydrogen power would have its merits – but eyes should remain open when it comes to the power of the future.

“It would be immensely interesting if the Extreme E would also allow hydrogen as a fuel, in addition to the battery,” Newey told the Dutch edition of RacingNews365.

“Of course, we would then have to make sure that one technology is not overtly faster than the other, so we have to balance that.

“In any case, it would be a nice way to promote hydrogen as an alternative to a battery.”

Formula 1 power units will be run for the first time using a fuel with an environmentally-friendly element, with the E10 fuel mix having 10% ethanol as F1 begins to gradually move away from fossil fuels.

But Newey feels there is no ‘silver bullet’ solution when it comes to how engines will take shape in years to come.

“You shouldn’t commit to one thing,” said the Red Bull technical boss. “Electric clearly has a place in the future in certain applications, but so does hydrogen, as do synthetic fuels.

“That’s the important thing: that people don’t look at the climate problems and think there is only one solution. It won’t be like that.”

Extreme E runs with teams consisting of one male and one female driver, with five rounds having taken place in its first year. Nico Rosberg trumped Lewis Hamilton in the team ownership stakes, with Rosberg X Racing beating X44 to the title on countback after a hard-fought season.

Newey was in attendance at the season finale in Dorset and said he enjoyed seeing the cars in person, having been in the throws of battle against Mercedes in Formula 1 all year.


“It’s interesting to look around here. I’ve been involved from a distance and keep an eye on what’s going on,” he explained.

“It’s good to finally be able to witness it for myself to see how it all works. The cars are impressive, bigger than you realise when you see them on television.

“It looks good for a first season and all the teams and organisation have done their best.”


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