Formula One’s Carbon Footprint on the Wane

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Formula One’s Carbon Footprint on the Wane


The world is a place where greed and speed have predominated, but recently even the gods of pace have acknowledged that they either have to embrace environmentally friendly options or become extinct like the dinosaurs of old.


‘Earth Car’ gets the Formula 1 ball rolling


Team Honda was the first of the Formula 1 teams who turned talk into tactics and two years ago they opted to make an environmentally conscious statement by branding their cars not with corporate labels but an untarnished and uncorrupted map of planet earth.


Granted, this small contribution to the burgeoning problem of carbon gas emissions didn’t do anything practical, other than to constantly remind us of the failings of Formula 1 and FIA bosses to take this challenge to heart.


The motorsport moguls have every intention of becoming the high-tech pioneers and unequivocal leaders in the ongoing battle against climate change, one of the unpleasant facts of life that has the potential to destroy us all.


FIA President, Max Mosley, and company have effectively outlawed any further development on petrol engines and have instead put their formidable financial backing and expertise behind innovative and a more hybrid approach to the development of increased power.


Biofuels a solution


Formula 1 can learn something from the United States where the Indy cars have been running on ethanol for quite some time now and there is plenty of discussion around the possibility of utilising biofuels instead of the dangerously low reserves of fossil fuels left in the world today. Formula 1 racing cars currently burn nearly a litre of fossils fuels per kilometre, an equation that cannot possibly be sustained, even for another season.


KERS could change the face of F1 forever


One of the ideas that has manifested itself in KERS, or kinetic energy recovery systems, is that of harnessing the energy lost during braking by re-using it to boost acceleration. When you consider that racing cars have to brake from speeds of over 200mph to 50mph in 2.5 seconds, then it is a given that an enormous amount of energy is lost through braking and the consequent heat loss associated with braking.


Energy allotments may be introduced


Another idea that looks fit to materialise is that by 2011 each Formula 1 team would be given a parcel of energy for each race on the Formula 1 calendar. This parcel would shrink year by year and the team that wins the race would be the team that has utilised the energy the most efficiently and effectively.


This would mean a major shift from a sport where fuel consumption has always been the major contributing factor, to a sport where the effective energy use of the racing car is paramount.


Team Honda’s battle to reduce their carbon footprint


Team Honda have made a concerted effort to reduce their carbon footprint by



  • introducing a recycling scheme at the Honda plant
  • providing incentives to their work force to cycle or walk to work
  • using low energy light bulbs throughout and installing solar panels on the roofs of all the trackside motor homes
  • holding video conferences instead of flying to meetings
  • turning off all lights and computers at night


It is worth remembering that it’s not only the grandstanding gestures that make the difference but a whole range of little ones too.


Source by Lavana James

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