Mercedes to remain in Formula 1 despite shift to electric cars

© Mercedes-Benz AG

Mercedes has announced they will only sell electric cars from 2030, but CEO Ola Källenius says they will remain in Formula 1 even if the series doesn’t align with this shift.

The Mercedes road car division is focused on moving away from fossil fuels, with the company set to only invest in fully electric architectures from 2025, and sell only electric cars from 2030 where market conditions allow.

Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius says the company is pleased with Formula 1’s shift towards decarbonisation.

“We have decided to go towards this journey of decarbonisation – it’s the only decision that you can make – and the same goes for Formula 1,” Källenius said at a Financial Times seminar.

“The next powertrain regulations that we will have will put much more significance on the electrical side – and there is a clear commitment to making Formula 1 CO2 neutral.

“For the next set of regulations, the electrical piece of the lap time will increase. There will still be a combustion engine, but it will be used as a lab to develop CO2-free fuels, which will be needed certainly by the aviation industry, but maybe to lower the output of the existing car park too.”

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He went on to say Formula 1 is not yet ready to go completely electric.

“We are not yet at a point where you can run a race like we had in Abu Dhabi with the energy from a battery only.

“A sport like Formula 1 needs to put on a show, so the path has to be one of decarbonisation. The battery technology is not there yet.

“But going CO2-free, with a higher emphasis on electrification, ensures the sport remains very relevant and we will stay to race.”

Regarding a possible merging between the all-electric Formula E and Formula 1 in the future, Källenius didn’t want to comment.

“I don’t want to speculate about that. All I know is that Formula 1 will always remain the pinnacle of motorsports,” he concluded.

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