F1 2022, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, regulations, powertrain, FIA, Bernie Ecclestone, Toto Wolff, Lewis Hamilton

With 22 races on the calendar this year and up to 24 scheduled for next season, it’s becoming difficult to turn on the television and not see Formula 1 – not that we’re complaining.

But there should be a huge increase in Formula 1-related media in the coming years, with now regular announcements that new TV series, films or documentaries about the sport are in the works.

Daniel Ricciardo is the latest pilot to toss his helmet into the ring, announcing this week that he is getting involved in the game show for a new series still early in its production cycle.

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Elsewhere, the sport is touting its green credentials as it strives to meet its 2030 net-zero emissions targets, with the last item ticked off its list, the development of a new fuel which it says could influence significantly global efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. .

DANIEL RICCIARDO DIVES INTO TELEVISION

Daniel Ricciardo is set to produce an all-new TV show based on Formula 1 in another example of the sport’s growing international appeal for entertainment.

According to Hollywood journalist, Ricciardo has teamed up with American streaming giant Hulu to produce a 30-minute scripted TV series based on Formula 1. The eight-time Grand Prix winner will serve as the project’s executive producer. Production companies Temple Hill and Lionsgate are also involved.

Little is known about the series, which is still in the early stages of development and still looking for a writer.

It’s far from Ricciardo’s only off-road pursuit. In recent years, the Perth native has worked with South Australian winery St Hugo to produce a number of wines as well as the Limited Edition and Surprising Real Wines. Ricciardo decanterwhich takes the form of one of his racing boots.

His TV announcement follows news Lewis Hamilton is involved in a new F1 fiction film starring Brad Pitt and directed by Joseph Kosinski. Apple Studios will also premiere a documentary on the career of Lewis Hamilton, which will be produced by Hamilton and his manager; Box to Box Films, the studio behind Drive to survive; and One Community.

Formula 1’s proliferating presence in popular media is a sign of the sport’s rapid growth in the post-pandemic years, particularly in the United States, where ESPN should announce a new three-year broadcast deal worth up to US$90 million (AUD$130 million). His previous deal, signed only in 2019, was worth just US$5 million a year, an increase of 1800%.

Dan Mullan/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

F1 DEVELOPS NEW SUSTAINABLE NET-ZERO PUSH FUEL

Formula 1 says it has developed a “sustainable fuel” for its new powertrain regulations as it strives to reach its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

The sport is set to introduce a new hybrid power unit for the 2026 season, and although the engine architecture is yet to be defined, one of the key elements of the regulations will be the use of sustainable fuel rather than gasoline derived from petroleum. .

The fuel was designed by Formula 1 with Saudi oil giant Aramco and is already in production.

The durability value of synthetic fuels can vary greatly depending on how they are produced. Converting coal to fuel is considerably less efficient than burning oil, while converting biomass can result in a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to current technologies.

The BBC reporting that the fuel developed by F1 is synthetic rather than organic, although a spokesperson said the fuel would be carbon neutral throughout its life cycle.

A key feature of the new fuel is that it can be “introduced” into a current combustion engine. Not only will this simplify the process of designing the new power unit, but it will also have potentially significant implications for the global transport sector, a major producer of global emissions.

Negotiations over F1’s 2026 power unit have slowed since being delayed for 12 months last year, despite expectations that it will be broadly similar to the V6 turbocharged hybrid systems used since 2014.

A key change will be the discontinuation of the MGU-H unit, which converts waste heat into electrical energy and primarily interacts with the turbocharger to eliminate lag. It was one of the truly cutting-edge parts of today’s power unit, but it proved difficult to master and was seen as a major barrier to entry for new engine builders. Volkswagen has not yet officially entered Formula 1 with Porsche or Audi.

Despite this, the electrical power of the power unit will increase significantly from the current 120 kilowatts to 350 kilowatts.

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said earlier this month he hoped the rules could be agreed by the mid-season break starting in August.

Clive Mason/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

BERNIE ECCLESTONE HAS ANOTHER CRACK

Making headlines has long been Bernie Ecclestone’s forte, and the 91-year-old former F1 boss hasn’t slowed down on that front despite being ousted as CEO several years ago.

After criticizing Lewis Hamilton for allegedly not having the heart to fight this season – never finding the facts of course – Ecclestone sent a missive to the FIA ​​for its hiring of Toto Wolff’s former special adviser, Shaila-Ann Rao, as interim. chief executive of F1 following the sudden departure of Peter Bayer.

The move proved controversial among some teams, particularly in light of Mercedes appearing to be the most willing to respond to the FIA’s very late change in notification rules at the Canadian Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing openly questioned the exchange of inside information, while Ferrari was more reserved about the appropriateness of the appointment.

Ecclestone was in no mood to be reserved, however.

“It’s damn dangerous,” he told the Daily Mail.

“Toto started all this nonsense about the cars to be changed. She obviously told them about the new directive. She worked with Toto for two or three years.

“I wanted to have (former Ferrari chief) Luca di Montezemolo as company president when I was running things, but the teams went crazy because he was the Ferrari man.

“It was considered a conflict of interest, so how can she do this job?”

Mercedes denied any favorable reports for Canada, while Wolff protested that Rao worked at the FIA ​​before his move to the German marque.

However, the personnel controversy is not exclusively the domain of Mercedes. Alpine previously caused a stir when it hired ex-FIA technical chief Marcin Budkowski – since left the team – as executive director, while Ferrari did the same when it poached the former safety chief from the FIA ​​and assistant race director Laurent Mekies as race director, both of whom were aware. potentially sensitive information from rival teams.

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