Formula 1 Corporate Backers Push for Sustainability

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Formula 1 is all set to embrace the mantra of sustainability for the first time in the history of the sport. It is gearing up to put in place a new class of regulations that will drive the emphasis away from rewarding brute power, and put a premium on resource efficiency. With the prospective change of regulations, combined with F1’s tireless pursuit of automotive innovation, the sport is expected to become net-positive when it comes to sustainability.

Formula 1 not only moves large numbers of people and equipment around the world to its 19 race venues, but it also has a direct harmful impact on the environment through the CO2 emissions that are created in the very act of the sport itself. In recent times, the motorsport’s governing body, Federation International de L’Automobile (FIA), became cognizant of the fact if it did not address the issue of sustainable, external pressures might impose regulation on it.

Large corporate sponsors had already begun exerting intense pressure on the F1 organizers and participating teams with regard to sustainability. They demanded the same standards that applied to them regarding corporate sustainability policy to apply to the sport. Companies such as Unilever, which is a major sponsor of the Lotus F1 team, are believed to have provided thought leadership in this area.

Formula 1 embarks upon a new journey this weekend with new cars, powered by 1.6 litre hybrid turbo engines, lining up on the grid in Melbourne. The old 2.4 litre V8 gas guzzlers that have been used for the last eight years have finally been replaced. The new power units include an electrical energy storage system capable of injecting 160hp for 33 seconds each lap, from energy harvested from braking and from heat from the turbo.

These cars will use about a third less fuel to cover the same distance at the same speed. The new limit will be 100 kg instead of 150 kg. In terms of CO2 per km, this translates to a 35 percent reduction over last year. It is the biggest shake-up of F1 technology in three decades. Regulations that link performance with thermal efficiency are now encouraged by the FIA.

Experts say that the forces behind the greening of F1 include the investors, shareholders and sponsors of the sport, who view it as a global marketing platform. To maintain the longevity of the sport, F1 is finally shifting its drive to sustainability.


Image Credit: Flickr via pandrade33