Formula 1 has joined the FIA and Extreme H, which will transition away from its all-electric identity, in the intention to form a Hydrogen Technical Working Group.
Motorsport finds itself in a pivotal, yet exciting point in time where the future power source for going racing is being defined, to allow the various categories to continue to exist in a greener future.
Formula 1 has already embarked on that path and will take a huge step in 2026 with the introduction of new power units, relying on a greater electrical influence and the use of fully-sustainable biofuels on the internal combustion engine. Now, a huge joint-commitment has been made for the exploration of hydrogen technology.
F1, FIA and Extreme-H to form working group
Known as Extreme E since the electric SUV racing series debuted in 2021, the series will become the first hydrogen-powered off-racing championship as of 2025, then gaining FIA World Championship status from the following year.
The FIA, F1 and Extreme H plan to come together to form a Hydrogen Working Group, which will monitor the progress of hydrogen technology in fuel cells and batteries used in Extreme H, as well its off-track uses in the series for purposes like logistics and also on safety grounds.
Formula 1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds, FIA single seater director Nikolas Tombazis and Extreme E technical director Mark Grain are among the key players coming together to asses the suitability of hydrogen technology in motorsport and the wider mobility industry.
A first shakedown of Extreme H machinery is planned before the end of 2023 as a testing programme then kicks into gear from early 2024.
Commenting on the announcement, Tombazis said: “As the governing body for both the FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the upcoming FIA Extreme H Championship in 2025, we welcome this latest collaboration.
“The FIA Technical Department has experience and knowhow in the area of hydrogen technology which we will bring to the Working Group along with sporting, safety and regulatory expertise.
“As is currently the case across the entire FIA motorsport portfolio, we will take learnings from this collaboration for the benefit of our sport and mobility.”
Symonds added: “Our sport has a tradition of bringing new technologies to the forefront of public perception in incredibly short timescales. We do this by being open-minded to all solutions and embracing cross-functional engineering.
“With climate change mitigation at the forefront of everyone’s mind we are committed to promoting sustainability and therefore need to explore all areas of decarbonisation of the mobility sector. This must include sustainable liquid hydrocarbon fuels, electrification and hydrogen.
“This Working Group enables a collaboration which will allow us to gain first-hand experience and contribute to the understanding and development of the many aspects of hydrogen propulsion that Extreme H will embrace.”
F1 World Champions Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button all own Extreme E teams, as do McLaren to further strengthen the F1 ties.