The FIA, F1 and Extreme E’s hydrogen spinoff, Extreme H, are to establish a joint Hydrogen Working Group. The group will include Extreme E technical director Mark Grain, F1 CTO Pat Symonds and FIA single seater director Nikolas Tombazis, who will be tasked with establishing whether hydrogen has a future in motorsport and if so, the areas where it can be best deployed.
Symonds was adamant that H2, alongside batteries and other alternative fuels, have a role to play in the decarbonization of racing. “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 decarbonization of the mobility sector. This must include sustainable liquid hydrocarbon fuels, electrification and hydrogen.”
Development of the first Extreme H series is underway, with plans in place to launch a prototype hydrogen-powered chassis with its partner Spark with a first full-speed shakedown by the end of this year, ahead of a comprehensive testing program in early 2024.
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 know-how 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.”
Alongside the FIA, Extreme E has agreed a pathway for the hydrogen series, Extreme H, to become an FIA Championship from its inaugural season in 2025, with the intention that it will become an FIA World Championship from 2026.
Grain commented, “ Our transition to Extreme H makes us the pioneers and first-ever testbed of hydrogen technology in motorsport – not only in our racing cars, but also transportation, infrastructure, refuelling processes and safety regulations. It’s a ground-breaking initiative and we look forward to collaborating with Formula 1 and Pat [Symonds] both technically and operationally, as we continue to champion new technologies and break boundaries on behalf of motorsport, with hydrogen at the forefront.”