The announced departure of Honda after the 2021 season has fuelled the discussion about carbon emissions. Honda say that they want to be CO2 neutral by 2050.
It is highly likely that Formula 1 will continue to run hybrid engines in the coming years, while more attention is being paid to the use of synthetic fuels. Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes that F1 serves as a good platform to promote and develop hybrid engines, but that the benefits of this technology are not being promoted enough.
"I don't think we're telling the hybrid story enough. With the complexity and technology in these cars, 50% thermal efficiency, the batteries we use and the technology involved, we are a pretty good example of hybrid technology," says Wolff to Motorsport.com.
"The next generation of power units, whenever that is, will use even more sustainable technologies. But then we have to look at the costs. We don't want to make the same mistake we made with these engines, where the focus is on the technology. We have to make sure that we have something innovative, sustainable, powerful and efficient, and that doesn't cost too much," Wolff continues.
Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner agrees that the cost to engine manufacturers is far too high, and sees that as the main reason new manufacturers are staying away from Formula 1. "The cost to engine suppliers is enormous, and that's why Formula 1 is not fortunate enough to attract new manufacturers and suppliers. The departure of Honda is a shame for F1, but it's also a wake-up call. It shows how high those costs are," Horner said.