Adrian Newey is skeptical of the direction F1 is heading in terms of technology, with increasing electrification. According to him, it is also a mistake that the automotive industry is making, with the promotion of all-electric.
“Formula 1 can and must play a role in this area” Newey said. « But there’s all this talk about where the power source is coming from, electric, biofuel, synthetic fuel, hydrogen. There’s a lot of misinformation floating around on the subject, especially on the electric side. »
“People are starting to realize that the carbon footprint of producing an electric vehicle is much larger than that of a gasoline-powered vehicle. The assumption that electricity generated from wind or solar produces no emissions is simply not correct. »
Nevertheless, despite more energy-intensive production, the merits of the electric car in terms of pollution over its entire life cycle no longer need to be proven. Indeed, if we also count the production of electricity, we must also count the production, transport and refinement of oil, which is extremely polluting and destructive.
« Our cars have become heavier »
As a motorsport engineer, Newey is quite logically shocked to see the overweight of electric cars, and thinks that the energy sobriety of vehicles must also go through a reduction in their mass.
« It’s run by the government, which is influenced by the car manufacturers, which is very similar to motorsport these days. Some changes in Formula 1 are also the result of lobbying. I think we need more cars. smaller, lighter and more energy efficient. »
According to him, this is also a mistake that F1 is making, with increasingly heavy single-seaters: « Our cars have gotten bigger and heavier and aren’t particularly aerodynamically efficient because they have a lot of drag. »
« Unfortunately Formula 1 has achieved the exact opposite with these new rules. It is clear that for Formula 1 and the motor industry in general, bigger and heavier cars and people’s obsession with whether with batteries or gasoline are exactly the wrong direction. »
« The biggest issue is the amount of energy it takes to move the damn thing, no matter where that energy comes from. It seems like the technical rules of Formula 1 don’t recognize that, because, of course, the big car manufacturers don’t want that. At least that’s what I think. »