Karun Chandhok demands FIA ‘ditches’ hybrid system in rules shake-up

Karun Chandhok has demanded the FIA “ditches” its hybrid technology for alternatives in a major rules change. The Sky Sports F1 pundit claims organisers can get rid of heavy batteries and lead the way on “sustainable fuels”.

He has called for bosses to even consider a return to V10 engines last used over 25 years ago. Chandhok posted on Twitter: “As I’ve said on several occasions – I think it’s time for F1 to ditch the hybrids with the heavy batteries.

“Light cars with V10s screaming on sustainable fuels would be brilliant. Le Mans is pushing hybrids, FE is doing Electric, F1 can lead development in sustainable fuels.

“Sadly the manufacturers will never let it happen!” F1 introduced the new turbo-hybrid era in 2014 with Mercedes dominating before the recent Red Bull success.

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Tweaks are in the pipeline with the car’s MGU-H system set to be removed at the next rules cycle from 2026. However, the battery units are heavy and have seen car’s weights dramatically increased in the last ten years.

Modern-day F1 machinery currently weigh a staggering 798 kilos today compared to just 642kg back in 2013. Reacting to a video of Ayrton Sennas’s qualifying run at the 1991 British Grand Prix, when cars weighed just over 500kg, Chandhok added: “Awesome.

“This kills the theory that older shaky onboard cameras make the cars look fast. Regulation weight for these cars was 505kg without driver so probably 575 versus 798kg now. Modern cars are much bigger in size. Smaller, more agile cars just look faster. Fact!”

Currently, teams run an E10 compound which is made up of 10 per cent renewable materials. However, F1 is set to race on fully sustainable fuel from 2026 as organisers try to make the series carbon-neutral by 2030.

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The new compound used by teams will be created in a lab and fully unique to the championship. Last year, F1’s Managing Director Ross Brawn said the new fuel will mean engines do not add any carbon dioxide to the environment.

He added: “The great appeal is when we find this solution, you can use it in your road car, without making any changes to the engine. We will have close to two billion internal combustion engines on the planet and whatever electric solution we find, whatever hydrogen solution we find, there’s still going to be two billion cars. There are parts of the world where those cars won’t change to electric.”

However, Martin Brundle’s son Alex has called on F1 to speed up its transition after sustainable fuels were successfully adopted at Le Mans last season.

Brundle commented: “All LMP2s did Le Mans on 100 bioethenol last year. So F1 needs to get a wiggle on.”

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