Sustainable solutions power historic motorsport at the British Grand Prix

Saturday 06 July 2024

As motorsport continues to gain popularity in the UK, it’s not only the vehicles that need to innovate and adapt to improve their track times, so too do the fuels that are used to power the variety of machinery that’s used around the country. 

Motorsport UK’s vision is that the future of mobility will be inextricably linked to the accelerated development and demonstration of low-carbon, sustainable solutions within our sport. 

Today, synthetic fuel manufacturer Zero Petroleum used its 100% Synthetic Fuel produced locally to Silverstone from just air & water at Zero’s plant 0.1, at its Bicester Heritage home, to power a 1971 McLaren F1 M19A for the Historic Racing Cars demonstration. 

Piloted by former F1 driver and winner of the 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans, David Brabham, the fuel is made solely from air and water, showcasing how all engines can use a sustainable propulsion method. 

This will be the first time that a car has gone round the famous Silverstone circuit using 100% fossil-free synthetic fuel. 

The McLaren M19A was bought from the Jody Scheckter collection at Monaco Historic by AViT Motorsport.  

Ian Smith, Technical Director, Motorsport UK Technical Director, commented, “Today’s lap using Zero Petroleum highlights how motorsport, at all levels, is continuing to innovate. Our community is willing to adapt and explore alternative fuelling methods, ensuring that generations to come can enjoy motorsport from grassroots up.” 

Ewen Sergison, Driver, Manager and Mechanic for AViT Motorsport added, “This car is 50 years old, and without any alterations at all, we’ve put the fuel in and its run faultlessly all weekend. To say that Zero Petroleum is made without fossil fuel is fantastic, it just shows that this is something that could work and we can continue to run motorsport in the future.” 

Zero Petroelum’s CEO, Paddy Lowe, said, “When we talk about the fuel of the future, many people automatically assume that such a fuel can only go into an equally futuristic car. But we’re coming to Formula 1’s oldest Grand Prix to show that synthetic fuel can transform even a 1971 McLaren F1 M19 into a fossil-free powerhouse with the same ease as it does modern cars. We’re here to give every generation of racing fans more of what they love, because after all: we haven’t reinvented the wheel, just the fuel.” 

Find out more about Motorsport UK’s commitment to sustainable fuels here.