Formula 1 recently announced a new set of regulations designed to improve competition and elevate the fan experience, but the world's premier open-wheel racing series has more in store for the next decade, including a sustainability plan that it says will make its racing carbon-neutral by 2030.
In a release Monday, F1 said it will work to develop a net-zero carbon power unit for its race cars. Between improving the efficiency of the hardware itself and introducing more sustainable fuels, the series plans to eliminate its race cars as net producers of carbon.
"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," said Chase Carey, F1's Chairman and CEO. "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."
F1 said that technology can go even further.
"With over 1 billion of the 1.1 billion vehicles in the world powered by ICEs, it has the potential to reduce carbon emissions globally," F1 said in its release.
The details of its carbon-neutral plan are still forthcoming, but the series says it will work to eliminate or mitigate its footprint across all of its activities, including pre- and post-race logistics, events, and other parts of the season-long calendar.
The series said it plans to make its events sustainable by 2025. Single-use plastics will be eliminated, and all waste will be reused, recycled, or composted. F1 will also provide incentives and tools for fans to get to its events in a greener fashion.
At the end of October, F1 laid out a new set of regulations intended to improve the quality of competition and reduce the financial burden of participating in the series. To the latter end, the series will impose a $175 million per-season cost cap on each team, which the series says it will fully enforce. The new regulations go into effect in 2021.
The new car will simplify and improve aero elements to reduce "dirty" air around it on track, allowing for improved downforce of vehicles attempting to overtake, which should make the racing more compelling. It will have no changes to the current power unit.
The 2021 car will also sport underbody tunnels, simplified suspension geometry, and lower-profile 18-inch tires instead of the current 13s. The tires will also get wheel wake control devices to direct their airflow.