What was Paddy Lowe doing in Maranello earlier in the week? Anyone who saw the 60-year-old English engineer wandering around the Ferrari Racing Division immediately thought of a possible involvement in the Formula 1 area. But that is not the case, even if the former technical director of Williams, Mercedes and McLaren was seen having lunch with Piero Ferrari, Ferrari vice president at the Smeraldo restaurant in Lello Apicella.
Let’s make it clear right away: Formula 1 had nothing to do with it. The English engineer came to Italy because, among the various consultancy activities that he carries out, he now also deals with alternative fuels.
After a thirty-year history in the sport, Paddy Lowe co-founded a start-up in 2020, Zero Petroleum, a London company created to produce e-fuel, i.e. synthetic fuel that has no petroleum derivatives and therefore can be an alternative also to waste fuels and biofuels, having almost zero impact.
The fuel proposed by Paddy Lowe to Ferrari is a mix of carbon dioxide and green hydrogen made liquid, with characteristics similar to 95 NO petrol. A good option for the red supercars that will have to deal with the reduction of emissions: e-fuel, which Formula 1 will adopt from 2026 with the new power units, could represent a valid alternative to electric one to keep alive the internal combustion engines, allowing even the precious used Maranello and historic cars to continue to run, without the constraints that European policy would like to implement.
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Paddy Lowe therefore went to Ferrari to propose solutions already on the market, given that Porsche, for example, moves independently: in collaboration with Siemens and Enel, the German company went to Chile in search of the best conditions to synthesize fuels at acceptable costs thanks to the given the availability of a lot of renewable energy.
Will we see Lowe again in Maranello? We hope so..