Formula One targets greener future
The Formula One Teams' Association is readying a raft of regulation changes to improve F1's green image and reduce its carbon footprint.
Key to the changes will be a new set of engine regulations for 2013, which will introduce "powertrains that incorporate technologies designed to enhance fuel efficiency".
Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) is already set to make a return next year, but turbocharged four cylinder or V6 1.5 litre engines are also being discussed to cut fuel consumption. To ensure the teams focus on frugality as well as performance, the amount of fuel each team is allowed to use could be restricted under the regulations.
"The FIA and FOTA are already working together to tailor the 2013 technical regulations to ensuring that all engines and powertrains used in Formula One by that date will showcase, and provide a platform for the ongoing development of, technologies designed to enhance fuel efficiency," FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh said in a press release. "This is a very exciting time for Formula One, and I am delighted that our sport has been able to take a global environmental lead in this way."
FOTA is also keen to continue to cut the total carbon emissions of the sport - from manufacturing the cars to transporting them around the world - within the next two years.
"The good news is that, in conjunction with the FIA's and FOTA's recent successful efforts to improve efficiencies and restrict resources applied to Formula One, it has already been possible to reduce Formula One's total carbon emissions," Whitmarsh added. "Moreover, building on what we have already achieved, and extrapolating what is now being planned, we anticipate that by 2012 Formula One will have reduced its total carbon emissions by 12.4% compared with 2009.
"With the support of all its member teams, FOTA has committed to the continuation of this programme, and has undertaken to maintain continuous and independent analysis and assessment in order to ensure that these carbon emissions reduction targets are met or bettered, and to investigate where further carbon emissions reduction opportunities may exist. Measurement and management, in other words."
To meet its targets FOTA is working with environment research analysts Trucost to reduce its emissions and keep a check on its carbon footprint. Simon Thomas, a chief executive of Trucost, insists plan for a greener future is not against the spirit of Formula One.
"Formula One is fundamentally about efficiency - how to squeeze performance within the restrictions of physics and the rules," Thomas said. "There is a growing need to transition from fossil fuel dependency to an economy that is more carbon efficient. In keeping with this trend, the Formula One teams have collectively made a firm commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a significant way.
"This is consistent with Formula One's position as a leader in technological innovation and illustrates what can be achieved by organisations not traditionally associated with the environmental agenda. We also believe that the engineering excellence that exists within Formula One will have a part to play in the inevitable shift to more carbon efficient transportation"