Formula 1 is aiming to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2030, as well as fully sustainable events by 2025.
The sport’s environmental impact has been a hot topic in F1 over recent weeks following social media posts from Lewis Hamilton ahead of the Mexican Grand Prix. However, F1 has been working with the FIA and sustainability experts for 12 months on how it can deliver on its ambitious target, and has now announced a plan to become a more sustainable sport.
The initiative will cover the cars and on-track activity as well as the rest of the operations as a sport, with some carbon reduction projects beginning immediately.
Having introduced 1.6-liter V6 turbo hybrids in 2014, F1 says it has “a global platform to accelerate progress and develop technologies that reduce and eliminates carbon emissions from the current internal combustion engine (ICE).”
As well as moving to “ultra-efficient logistics and travel and 100% renewable-powered offices, facilities and factories” as part of the plan, F1 is also focusing on its individual events. By 2025, sustainable materials will be used at races, including the elimination of single-use plastics, while all waste will be reused, recycled or composted.
F1 will work with the FIA, partners, promoters and teams to help deliver its targets, which CEO Chase Carey says is consistent with the sport’s place at the forefront of technological advancement.
“Over its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered numerous technologies and innovations that have positively contributed to society and helped to combat carbon emissions,” Carey said. “From ground-breaking aerodynamics to improved brake designs, the progress led by F1 teams has benefited hundreds of millions of cars on the road today.
“Few people know that the current F1 hybrid power unit is the most efficient in the world, delivering more power using less fuel, and hence CO2, than any other car. We believe F1 can continue to be a leader for the auto industry and work with the energy and automotive sector to deliver the world’s first net zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine that hugely reduces carbon emissions around the world.
“In launching F1’s first-ever sustainability strategy, we recognize the critical role that all organizations must play in tackling this global issue. By leveraging the immense talent, passion and drive for innovation held by all members of the F1 community, we hope to make a significant positive impact on the environment and communities in which we operate. The actions we are putting in place from today will reduce our carbon footprint and ensure we are net zero carbon by 2030.”
FIA president Jean Todt said the latest regulations published for 2021 onward – approved a little under two weeks ago – were also designed with the sport’s environmental impact in mind.
“Our commitment to global environmental protection is crucial,” Todt says. “The FIA welcomes this Formula 1 initiative. It is not only very encouraging for the future of motorsport, but it could also have strong benefits for society as a whole.
“This strategy is in line with initiatives started some years ago by the FIA with the creation of the Environmental Accreditation Program, more recently with the FIA Environment and Sustainability Commission, and researches on renewable racing fuel. Furthermore, in 2014 we introduced the hybrid power unit in Formula 1, which was essential for the development of motorsport’s highest category.
“It is the same reason that led us to maintain this philosophy within the framework of the Formula 1 regulations applicable from 2021. With the involvement of the teams, drivers, F1’s numerous stakeholders, and crucially the millions of fans around the world, the FIA and Formula 1 are committed to driving development and ensuring motorsport grows as a laboratory for environmentally beneficial innovations.”