Fuel Efficient Cars for Formula One

By: Anthony Fontanelle


The auto industry has been making green changes in recent years. Due to the increasing threat of global warming, automakers are now developing fuel efficient vehicles. And more recently, the call for fuel efficient vehicles is not only limited to road-bound cars and light trucks. In motorsports, the call for eco-friendly racing machines is also growing.

In the IndyCar Series, the use of 100 percent ethanol has been implemented this season. This is an attempt of the racing series to contribute to the protection of the environment. The step taken by the motorsport is also aimed at promoting the use of the renewable and eco-friendly fuel.

In Formula One, the concern for the threat of global warming is also increasing. Considered as the highest form of motorsport, Formula One is also an icon of gas-guzzling engines. With cars being designed for very fast speeds, fuel consumption is understandably high. This is what the sport is looking at in the light of climate changes.

According to the British publication The Guardian, Formula One is looking to implement changes in the near future to make the sport greener. Some of the changes that the sport may implement in the future may include the use of smaller engines and alternative fuels.

These changes though may be in contrast with the sport's reputation for rocket like cars but it is a step necessary to be taken. According to Formula One as reported by The Guardian, it is looking to implement these environment-focused changes by the 2011 season. Although that is still a long way off, Formula One teams are already taking steps to reduce the amount potential risk they posses towards the environment.

Honda Racing Formula One, for example, uses their cars to reflect the company and the team's concern for the environment. Aside from equipping their Formula One cars with racing parts as reliable as , the team uses the car as a canvass to depict the planet Earth against a black background. This move though has been criticized by some environmental organizations including Greenpeace.

According to Emily Armistead of Greenpeace: "There is some irony in the fact that Honda are attempting to promote the environment and calling on others to address environmental issues when they are contributing to climate change by participating in what is probably the most polluting sport on the planet." The said statement was published by The Guardian.

Although being labeled as hypocritical, Honda Racing Formula One is positive that they can contribute to the protection of the environment. Aside from making their own cars environment friendly, the popularity of the motorsport will also give a boost to the promotion of the use of alternative fuels.

Nick Fry, team principal for the Japanese Formula One outfit, is pushing for the greening of the sport. He said that making their cars greener does not mean that it would be slower. As if to give more credit to Fry's claim, a new speed record was recently broken by a car running on E85 - a fuel which is a mixture of 85 percent bioethanol and 15 percent gasoline. The said feat is a clear indication that Formula One cars need not consume limited and potentially harmful petroleum fuels in the future to attain fast speeds. In fact, the use of hydrogen, a clean energy source, may be a step that Formula One may be willing to take in the future.

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