Extreme H, the world’s first hydrogen-powered motor racing championship, to commence from 2025
The Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), the FIA Formula One World Championship and Extreme H, the world’s first off-road hydrogen motor racing championship, which will commence in 2025, have today announced plans to establish a joint Hydrogen Working Group.
The group, comprised of representatives from all three organisations including Mark Grain, Extreme E Technical Director – who is leading the series’ transition to Extreme H – Pat Symonds, F1 Chief Technical Officer, and Nikolas Tombazis, FIA Single Seater Director, will bring together their collective expertise in a strategic alliance to evaluate developments and potential applications for hydrogen within motorsport and wider mobility.
The objective of the Hydrogen Working Group between Formula 1, the FIA and Extreme H is to monitor the progression and development of hydrogen technology – both for the fuel cells and battery systems which will be used in Extreme H’s first-generation racing chassis – as well as hydrogen technology within race site infrastructure, transportation, charging, storage and management, and its safety implications.
Extreme E, which debuted in 2021, has already established itself as a leader in sustainable technologies, with a unique racing format that combines off-road racing in electric SUVs, a mandatory gender-equal driver line-up in each team, and a mission to highlight climate change issues and environmental impact. In March 2022, it announced plans to transition to the first-ever hydrogen-powered racing series – Extreme H – from the 2025 season.
Development of the first Extreme H series is underway, with plans in place to launch a prototype hydrogen-powered chassis with its partner Spark with a first full-speed shakedown towards the end of this year, ahead of a comprehensive testing programme in early 2024.
Alongside the FIA, Extreme E has agreed a pathway for the hydrogen series, Extreme H, to become an FIA Championship from its inaugural season in 2025, with the intention that it will become an FIA World Championship from 2026. This planned framework leading to FIA World Championship status, pending the relevant approvals by the FIA World Motor Sport Council, demonstrates the series’ progression since its inception in 2021 and a strong statement of intent for its growth towards its hydrogen-powered future.
As technical regulator and sporting authority of the Extreme E championship, the FIA will be responsible for all technical, sporting and safety regulations for the competition.
There is already plenty of crossover as well as scope for cooperation in the alliance between F1 and Extreme E: three of Extreme E’s teams are owned by F1 World Champions Sir Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button, and McLaren Racing has teams both in Extreme E and Formula E. The two organisations are aligned in their commitment to the development of sustainable technologies, climate change and impact awareness, as well as increased diversity within motorsport.
Whilst not directly linked to the World Endurance Championship, this adds more momentum to the desire to move towards a Hydrogen based platform in the near future as embraced by Toyota and the GR H2 Racing Concept car revealed at the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hour Race. Alongside the ACO's MissionH24 project its seems the racing world is moving directly towards hydrogen as a replacement for traditional fossil fuels rather then following the full electric pathway.