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F1 details first sustainability plan

Drivers battle for position at the start of the 2019 US Grand Prix (by Charles Coates/Getty Images)

Formula 1 has revealed its first-ever sustainability strategy headlined by an ambition to have a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030 and deliver the world’s first net-zero carbon hybrid internal combustion engine.

F1 and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said they planned to detail an environmental vison as they last month revealed the set of new regulations that will seek to overhaul the motor-racing championship from the 2021 season, headlined by the introduction of the sport’s first cost cap.

The motorsport industry as a whole has been under growing pressure to make itself more relevant in the face of increasing global concern, and awareness, of the impact of climate change. Indeed, Germany’s DTM last week became the latest motor-racing series to embrace the concept of electric racing by spelling out a vision for a new championship that could see touring cars race at F1 speeds.

Formula 1 has said its new strategy was developed after 12 months of “intense work” with the FIA, sustainability experts, teams, promoters and partners. The plan is designed to cover F1 cars, on-track activity and the rest of the operations as a sport.

Carbon reduction projects will begin immediately to start the journey of becoming a more sustainable sport. F1 said its current hybrid power unit, which was first introduced in 2014, presents a “tremendous opportunity” to deliver a net-zero carbon hybrid power unit.

In addition to the plans to eliminate the carbon footprint of the F1 car and on-track activities, other initiatives will include action to ensure the sport moves to ultra-efficient logistics and travel and 100 per cent renewably-powered offices, facilities and factories.

By 2025, F1 said it will also ensure all of its events are sustainable. This will mean the use of sustainable materials at all events with single-use plastics being eliminated and all waste reused, recycled or composted.

Additionally, incentives and tools will be provided to offer every fan a greener way to reach the race and ensure circuits and facilities enhance fan well-being and nature as well as providing opportunities for local people, businesses and causes to become more involved in a grand prix weekend.

Chase Carey, chairman and chief executive of Formula 1, said: “Over its 70-year history, F1 has pioneered numerous technologies and innovations that have positively contributed to society and helped to combat carbon emissions.

“From ground-breaking aerodynamics to improved brake designs, the progress led by F1 teams has benefitted 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 recognise the critical role that all organisations 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.”