Formula 1 Reduces Carbon Emissions, Leads Way To Greener Racing

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

According to figures released by the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), Formula 1 teams have reduced their carbon emissions by 7%.

That figure represents the total reduction in carbon emissions between 2009 and 2011. There was a 24% reduction in emission from the F1 cars themselves, which was sadly offset somewhat drastically by increases in emissions due to business travel and operational fuel use.

The big reduction in car emissions has been credited to the development of more fuel efficient engines and systems like KERS. For those unfamiliar with the term, KERS stands for Kinetic Energy Recovery System. What the system does is gather kinetic energy lost in the form of heat when a car brakes. It then stores that energy so it can be used to boost acceleration. Similar systems can be found on certain consumer vehicles.

With Formula 1 switching to more efficient, yet potentially just as powerful, V6 engines for the 2014 season, emissions from the cars are expected to drop even further in the near future.

It is highly impressive to see such a drastic drop in the carbon emissions of the vehicles in such a short amount of time, considering that KERS has only been in use since the 2009 season.

FOTA expressed a desire to continue developing cleaner running engines, but to especially focus on reducing emissions from other aspects of the sport such as team travel.

Trucost, an environmental research analysis organization, is the group that has been tasked with keeping up with F1 emissions. According to their chief executive Richard Mattison, Formula 1 is helping lead the charge to greener motorsports and automobiles in general.

F1 is always on the cutting edge when it comes to developments in the automotive industry, and as a fan I’m very excited to see Formula 1 using their motorsports brilliance to reduce carbon emissions. I fully support a greener F1, as long as the cars are still hauling obscene amounts of ass.