Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen left their Ferrari Formula 1 cars in the garage and headed out onto Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps circuit in a couple of ultra energy efficient Shell Eco-marathon (SEM) vehicles.
The Ferrari duo were joined on track by students from Belgian, British, German and Spanish universities, whose eco-vehicle concepts had been selected as part of an initiative from Shell, who are a technical partner of Ferrari.
The challenge was to design, build and test ultra energy efficient vehicles to promote the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and the similarities between SEM and F1.
With this season’s new F1 regulations putting a premium on energy efficiency, the exercise gave a glimpse into the future eco-friendly possibilities which could potentially be introduced to high-level motorsport.
Alonso said: “Along with the other cars here, the numbers show that it’s super efficient! It’s really incredible to think that with just one litre of fuel, cars of this type can cover over 3600km.
“I think all the work done in universities on the topic of energy saving is very useful, because even if it’s not applicable at the moment, it certainly will be for cars of the future.”
Raikkonen added: “The car is normal to drive apart from the low speeds and they look simple on the outside but actually they are more complicated cars and the students that build them are very smart people.
“I think the Shell Eco-marathon is an excellent event and gives the students a good way to learn and improve and hopefully move into bigger things in the future.”