• Jan 16, 2008

The European Parliament has called for Formula One to adopt more environmentally-friendly engine alternatives, and the FIA seems to be all for it.

The CARS 21 report, passed with 607 EU legislators in favor, 76 against and 14 abstentions, praised the FIA's actions to make F1 greener, but called on the sanctioning body to do more. The report concluded by calling on the FIA to revise its formula to include "environmentally friendly technologies like bio-fuels, four-cylinder engines or hybrid". FIA president Max Mosley, who has been vocal in his desire to make F1 greener, subsequently issued a statement supporting the EU report.

Several racing series - including A1GP, ALMS, Champ Cars and IndyCars - are now running on bio-fuels, and Formula One has been toying with electric hybrid regenerative braking technologies. As we reported earlier, the moratorium on engine development in F1 was shortened from ten years to five, and the FIA is preparing to launch a new engine formula within the next couple of years. If regulatory bodies like the EU and the FIA get their way, F1 cars in a few years could be powered by four-cylinder electric-ethanol hybrids.

[Source: Autosport]



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  • 57 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I see your point and I'd love see the FIA do what you're suggesting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      when is this ignorance gonna end? The world is getting warmer and theres nothing we can do to stop it. Even if man had never existed, the same thing would be happening. It's a natural cycle or climate change and any high school Earth Science student can tell you that. Yet, somehow, governments and media remain completely ignorant. I'm definitely not a conspiracy type person...but I do not understand how the FACTS can be ignored for so long!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The should change the formula to give cars X amount of energy per race, declare safety minimums, and remove all other restrictions.

      That would bring innovation back into Formula 1, which is in desperate need of a refocusing. It would also force teams to think about energy consumption more than just for pit strategy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What's the translation for "clueless" in all 28 EU languages? An 800hp racing engine is never going to environmentally friendly regardless of cylinder count. My wife brought home "organic bleach" once from the hippy grocery store. I had to laugh, isn't bleach by definition not organic? Isn't it supposed to kill things? But I digress.

      Rather than look at the racing cars, they should restrict the amount of trucks the teams can use, encourage more car sharing to the events (I know they already do that with the parking charges). And most of all, restrict the amount of helicopter flights that the celebrity and corporate moochers take. Seriously, 1,000 less corporate assholes at a grand prix will do wonders for the sport's carbon footprint.
        • 7 Years Ago
        BEST POST on Autoblog EVER. You sir Fizzleandpop, get it.

        Could not have said it better myself.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is not EU that is clueless, but Europeans listening/believing this sort of nonsense. 4 cyl turbos in the 80s were far more fuel inefficient and polluting than the V8 engines found in F1 cars today. And in general turbo engines have poor specific fuel consumptions compared to NA engines.

        Hybrids are not better either, they bring no fuel savings at speeds higher than cruise speed, they are actually worse at high speeds. Diesels are not a solution, they just bring a lot of weight to a racing car, hence no improvements in fuel consumption, just look at the obese Audi R10 (which consumes its fuel 5 laps earlier than the gasoline powered competition). Unless they design some combined cycle type of engine (gasoline/steam for instance) there is no way they can improve the fuel efficiency of the racing cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lots of thoughtful commentary here, very insightful. Truly, the environmental movement has gone beyond the pale. Much of the pollution humans are responsible for is actually good for vegetation. We aren't killing the planet -- we're just messing it up for humans. Life will go on. But the enviros just love love love doomsday scenarios, so that's all people hear from them and the media.

      Ferrari Monzas had big four cylinders back in the 1950s, and while I know these reliable torquemonsters were used in sports car racing, my memory is fuzzy on whether they were used in F1. I do remember the BMW and TAG turbos of the 1980s; the howl they made -- at least until they exploded -- was unforgettable and there's no way anyone could hear these things and NOT become a fan.

      The EU is kowtowing to the greenies because it the politicians feel it is politically expedient to do so. The big buzzword with media throughout the world is "green," and that means the environment and money. If you start and enterprise and attach the word "green" to it, you're going to get attention. Case in point -- a new shop in Washington DC that only sells clothing made from nature, with "no harm to animals" or the environment required to produce the clothes. It was a big deal on the news, but come to find out a pair of the bamboo-fiber underwear costs $40. WTF?

      So apparently, you can be green as long as you're rich. Since the teams in F1 are universally rich, they're an easy target. And as I've said before, automobiles in general are an easy target for enviros, because cars are something almost everyone identifies with in one way or another.

      FIA's response should be to give the teams a certain amount of energy per race weekend, drop the engine/design/drivetrain restrictions currently in place, go back to slicks and let the teams sort it out. V-12, V-10, V-8, four cylinders, flat 4 turbos, whatever -- if you can race and be competitive without using up your energy allotment, cool.

      This would serve the purpose of keeping F1 to a certain carbon level, whatever that is.

      Oh yeah, a quit jerking around with keeping Spa on the calender. Dammit, Bernie Ecclestone, no one wants a season without Spa!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The cost is an issue, but from my understanding FIA hasn't been successful in keeping it under control with their regulation changes. For one, changing regulations frequently only increases the costs as teams need to adapt. Secondly, unless you actually cap teams' budgets (and nobody wants that situation) there's little you can do short of freezing all development. As we know the sport is very competitive, every hundredth of a second counts, so teams will always find the way to spend all the money they have on something that hasn't been prohibited. Controlling cost is a lost cause IMHO...

        Setting the limit on the energy consumption and loosing up the regs could move development effort to a noble path and make it more interesting for fans to see what the teams can come up with. If you halt all development as they are trying to do now, then there's little to be left to F1 being a pinnacle of the motorsport...
        • 7 Years Ago
        The problem with using an energy diet and letting the teams do what they want is the problem of cost. As I'm sure you know cost containment is a big driver in many of these technical changes. I'd love to see it work out that way though.

        The Ferrari fours won championships in 52-53 with Ascari. And I agree about Spa.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What everyone seems to forget is that F1 is a Carbon-Neutral sport since 1997, when nobody could care less...

      The reflorestation program that FIA finances in Mexico absorves per year more CO2 than F1 produces by racing, testing, moving between venues, teams and promotor's activities, etc....

      So why the environmentalists forget that? I know they toss F1 around because it works so well as a symbol, but that's dishonest in every angle you look at it...

      ...and it makes me loose all of my respect for the environmental fundamentalists, which is a shame because the enviromental cause isn't a joke...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Oh, hell no. F1 has been diluted enough already.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So what will happen to that magical sound F1 cars make? Are they all going to sound like a Prius whizzing by at 200mph? Roar of the engines is half the pleasure of watching an F1 race on TV or in person!

      They ought to be concentrating on making racing itself more exciting. Fortunately engine development freeze has been reduced to 5yrs so we won't see anything radical within that time frame. Also they recently tested slick tyres and hopefully they'll return in 2009. Button loves how progressive they are rather than grooved which have lots of grip, but when they let go, driver becomes a passenger. I recall Zanardi saying exactly the same.

      As for green movement, well I don't appreciate governments micromanaging our lives and trying to influence our behavior so blatantly. Their job is to enforce liberty, justice, and equality. As for those green lunatics they're all self-obsessed idealists who think they are god's gift to earth. They should just have a green hippie convention in a country which supports Al-Qaeda (Syria), and then we could nuke them - would serve a double purpose, you know! Think about the president approval ratings that would bring in!

      As for environment, yes I would agree that we have overbuild, and that living in Beijing right now would reduce life span by about 20 years easy, but guess what that harms the humans, the planet itself is fine. If it needs to it'll shakes off like flies. So really it is the people promoting environment for their own selfish reasons rather than planet's. (Paraphrasing George Carlin here)
      • 7 Years Ago
      **Correction**

      If it needs to, it'll shake off people like flees.

      Michael
      • 7 Years Ago
      Enviornmentally friendly technologies ....lets just go back to mule racing on the lower pasture ..... that "green " enough ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      hybrid F1 has been talked about by Max Mosley and the FIA for the last few years, and there are provisions in the Concorde Agreement to add environmental technology after the current engine freeze is over.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why don't they just slap on large catalytic converters for emissions.

      And for fuel consumption they can use a ethanol.
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