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Teams have cut carbon emissions, says FOTA study

2013 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 teams cut their carbon emissions by 7% between 2009 and 2011 according to a report commissioned by the Formula One Teams Association.

Exhaust emissions of carbon from F1 cars fell by 24% during this time, according to the report. But carbon emitted directly from the cars during races and testing accounted for a mere 0.2% of total emissions.

The expansion of the F1 calendar and increased proportion of flyway races meant emissions due to business travel rose by 38.8%.

According to the report operational fuel use increased by 25.8% partly due to the arrival of the Virgin team (now Marussia) in 2010, who use fuel oil instead of electricity for their high performance computing systems such as Computational Fluid Dynamics. The team was originally wholly dependent on CFD for its aerodynamic development, eschewing the use of a wind tunnel, before abandoning that approach in 2011.

All F1 teams including the four not currently aligned to FOTA (Ferrari, Sauber, Red Bull and Toro Rosso) contributed to the survey.

“By measuring, disclosing and reducing their operational and supply chain carbon emissions, the Formula One Teams lead international sports federations in the carbon race,” said Richard Mattison, the chief executive of Trucost, who undertook the research for FOTA.

The teams aim to have reduced emissions by 12.4% by the end of last season. FOTA chairman and McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said they had achieved “significant reductions” in their carbon production.

“We will continue our focus on fuel efficiency and are also investigating opportunities to shift towards more carbon-efficient freight transport modes. We are delighted that the FIA Institute has launched a global environmental accreditation programme, which underscores the commitment of the sport to taking positive action on sustainability.”

Environmentally-friendly technologies developed by Formula One teams are finding applications in other industries. Williams’ flywheel Kinetic Energy Recovery System is already being used in London buses and is now being introduced on trams as well.

The full report can be downloaded here (PDF).

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei