Racing’s next technology marvel: Fuel efficiency?

I’m calling for a new rule in Formula 1 racing: A maximum on how much gasoline each car is allowed to use per race. The result will be accelerated innovation in fuel efficiency.

A lot of automobile technologies, now found in passenger cars, have been invented and /or improved for racing purposes.

Actually I was amazed to see how much, once I dug into it. Besides recent examples, such as the ABS (Anti-lock breaking system), traction control and the semi-automatic transmission, the older examples are even more impressive: seat belts, radial tires, shoulder harness, rollover protection and tire tread design for various conditions have all been mastered for racing purposes. Incredibly enough, even the rear view mirror was invented in 1911, by an Indianapolis 500 driver that couldn’t find a mechanic to sit in the back of his car and fill him in on what’s happening behind him.

As the need for reduced CO2 emissions is evident and fuel prices soaring, the next big innovations we need from the automobile industry are more fuel efficient motors. By limiting the amount of fuel allowed for each car in high-profile, technology and money laden racing such as the Formula 1, we won’t have to wait long for dramatic improvements.

Anybody got Bernie Ecclestone‘s number?


  1. Good idea, but isn’t increased fuel efficiency already an implicit goal for F-1 teams, since it results in fewer/faster refueling stops?

  2. How about the electric car formula? Don’t laugh, I hear that e-cars able to do 0-100km/h in 6 seconds are already on the drawing table and more to come.

    It would now doubt serve to fuel great advances in electric motors and battery technologies.

    And why not have a race for artificial intelligence drivers?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s