Vettel to drive e-fueled F1 cars at Goodwood Festival

Sebastian Vettel will return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed this summer, driving classic Formula 1 cars running on e-fuels.

The four-time world champion will drive an ex-Nigel Mansell 1992 Williams FW14B and ex-Ayrton Senna 1993 McLaren MP4/8. Both cars are part of Vettel’s personal collection.

“It’s great to be coming back to Goodwood after all these years,” said Vettel, who last visited Goodwood in 2012 while driving for Red Bull. “I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of some of my most memorable cars which will be running on sustainable fuel over the weekend.

“I’m a passionate racer and it’s important to me that we continue to enjoy driving iconic racing cars today and in the future, but that we do so in a responsible way.”

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Vettel previously drove the Williams at Silverstone ahead of last year’s British grand prix, where he launched his “Race without Trace’ alternative fuels campaign — one of several projects centered around sustainability that Vettel has worked on in recent years.


“I am enormously excited to welcome Sebastian back to Goodwood this summer,” said the Duke of Richmond. “I know our fans will be delighted to have an opportunity to celebrate his incredible career and to see him in action on the Hill.

“His attitude towards sourcing alternative fuels absolutely aligns with our plans across the event and the wider Estate to ensure we are shining a light on this important topic and protect motorsport for the next generation.”

Approximately 20% of the vehicles at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, set for July 13-16 at the British circuit, will run on alternative fuels, while the Festival’s sister event, the Goodwood Revival, will play host to the first-ever motor race powered entirely by synthetic fuel in September.

The Fordwater Trophy will feature a grid of 30 pre-1966 Porsche 911s to commemorate the car’s 60th anniversary, but in a first not just for Goodwood — which is celebrating 75 years of motorsport activity — but motorsport as a whole, the entire grid will be powered by e-fuels.

Despite aims to make 80 percent of its road car portfolio electrified by 2030 and its involvement in the all-electric Formula E series, Porsche has been a forerunner in the development of synthetic, or e-fuels. The company has already invested $100 million in the emissions-neutral technology, including a factory in Chile that produces the fuel.

Synthetic fuel is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, compressing that hydrogen, then adding carbon, which in time will come from CO2 captured from the atmosphere. The end result is a fuel that behaves pretty much identically to traditional gasoline, but while carbon dioxide is emitted when using e-fuels, that CO2 has already been captured, so in essence, it doesn’t have the same sort of impact.

Formula 1 is set to run on e-fuels from 2026 when the next round of engine regulations are introduced — an era which Porsche was set to be a part of until it shelved its plans following unsuccessful negotiations with Red Bull and McLaren.

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Story originally appeared on Racer