F1's Green agenda - A sensible move or fantasy land?

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
As the new president of the FIA gets his feet under the table Jean Todt seems to be looking for some radical changes, amongst which is to promote a green agenda. So, is this a sensibe move forward for Grand Prix racing or is this simply "green wash" in an attempt to make F1 seem more socially responsible?

Typically a Grand Prix car willl burn 200 litres, or 45 gallons, of fuel in a 200 mile race (less than 5mpg). F1's regulations don't allow the use of diesel engines, which are more efficient than petrol. Turbo chargers are outlawed which, at least the low pressure variety, can improve engine efficiency. A standard ECU is used limiting what the engineers can do to the engines via the electronic route. The cars use 3 sets of tyres in one 200 mile race (ignoring all the others used throughout a race weekend), so between 60 and 70 miles per set. Todt is said to be disappointed that KERS has been shelved but, other than an overtaking aid, was KERS really a "green" development for F1?

But what would be sensible green developments for F1? Fuel restrictions so that engines must be more efficient? A KERS system which rather than being an overtaking boost works symbiotically with the engine, as hybrid cars do? Allow diesel engines? The return of turbo chargers in a limited way? CVT gearboxes? Freedom to develop new electronic control systems?

The main problem I see for F1 is, regardless of what they do to the cars on the track; hauling 26 cars, all the engineering support, thousands of set of tyres, safety vehicles and all the other baggage F1 needs all over the world can NEVER be dressed up as environmentally friendly. If green developments in F1 have worthwhile applications for road cars then this may be a sensible move. But F1 has used and/or developed many things in the past which are useful for road cars and then the governing body has chosen to ban them - turbo charged engines, 4 wheel drive, active suspension, ABS, traction control, etc, etc on the grounds of cost saving, safety, the president of the FIA didn't like them.

So where is this going? Is this the right route for F1 or will the sport be found out as a phoney and the green lobby will point and snigger; or worse, campaign to get F1 stopped completely? Should the sport be honest with itself and admit that it can never be a green event, no matter how you dress it up; or is this the beginning of a brave new world and we should applaud Jean Todt for a visionary idea?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
As you have quite ably pointed out, this whole green agenda is a fudge and will never work.

If the FIA is serious about it then they will give free reign to the engineers (and electronics) to allow them to produce energy recovery systems, more efficient engines, even use alternative fuels.
As they don't then it's obvious they're just doing it to try and look good, which they are failing at.

For me though, the issue is much more fundamental.
The "greenest" motorsport series you can have is none at all.
Anything else is therefore not green and F1 is about as "un-green" as you can get, especially with all the freight being hauled everywhere.

F1 should just accept what it is and get on with doing it, rather than trying to jump on the latest bandwagon.
 

Sakari

Race Winner
Brogan said:
Anything else is therefore not green and F1 is about as "un-green" as you can get, especially with all the freight being hauled everywhere.

F1 should just accept what it is and get on with doing it, rather than trying to jump on the latest bandwagon.

Doesn't this kind of tell that in F1 there's a lot of room for improvement. I think in modern science 'green' is part of solution and if not then you're pretty much wasted.

I also believe that F1 has top car engineers working on the cars so damn right they should do their part of the job and be at least 'green aware'. I work as a software engineer and I know from experience that these 'unnecessary' demands can cause new improvements, that will be taken granted in 20 years time or so(demands shape the future).

So I dunno why people insist F1 to be stuck in the past instead of making improvements on new uknown areas. 8-)
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Sakari said:
So I dunno why people insist F1 to be stuck in the past instead of making improvements on new uknown areas. 8-)
But the FIA has hobbled the engineers and designers by having such rigid rules and regulations, so they'll never be able to make the improvements required.

Either the FIA drastically relax the design and engineering restrictions or F1 willl continue as it is.
 

Sakari

Race Winner
Brogan said:
Sakari said:
So I dunno why people insist F1 to be stuck in the past instead of making improvements on new uknown areas. 8-)
But the FIA has hobbled the engineers and designers by having such rigid rules and regulations, so they'll never be able to make the improvements required.

Either the FIA drastically relax the design and engineering restrictions or F1 willl continue as it is.

Sounds reasonable.. was not aware of this.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
I don't see why F1 shouldn't strive to be "greener".

There's a lot of scope for development, and if the next era of technology is based upon green technologies, then F1 should be part of that. With the huge amount of resources and manpower - with brainpower - then who knows what F1 engineers can concoct?

If F1 can make powerful, efficient engines with green "gizmos" that help a car's performance, it's as if F1 is trying to make greentech "cool", which in itself is a very important part of the development of new technologies, because it will inspire younger generations to carry on looking at the ways greentech can be improved and used.

I'd like to see a lot more deregulation with regards to new ways of creating alternative forms of power - whether it's through alternate fuels, systems such as KERS or anything else, I want to see new ideas, or expansions upon current ideas.

And of course, the huge amounts of freight C02 need to be addressed, however it's done. I think I read somewhere about F1 being involved in carbon offsetting but frankly, it's not the best solution, and a direct and accountable reduction should, and could, be made.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
One additional problem is Todt expects them to "green up" F1 whilst reducing spending. Now I may be being a bit naive here but if he wants new developments they have got to be paid for. Many teams complained they couldn't develop KERS as it was too expensive so M. Todt's plan seems to have fallen at the first hurdle.

There is another bizarre comment in the article I was reading from Luca di Montezemolo which I have quoted below:

"In the past the pits was full of good-looking girls. Now it's like a concentration camp."

Link

So Todt wants to bring F1 kicking and screaming into the 21st Century by making it greener and Luca wants a return to the 1970's by making the pits look like a scene from The Benny Hill Show. You have to wonder what planet these people inhabit. Every race we see lines of pretty girls clapping the drivers onto the podium and I just can't believe this still goes on. Is my calendar wrong? Are we not about to enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century? Jeez!
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I had the same reaction when I read that line.
I guess that's where the "latin" mentality differs from ours?

I agree on the pit girls issue too. I see no reason why we need half naked women holding umbrellas for the drivers these days.
Although having said that, if we have to have them, I'd rather it was girls than boys ;)
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I can't believe you two would deprive these brainless strumpets of the only employment they can get. Plus think of the number of plastic surgeons you have consigned to poverty.
 
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