Formula 1 is among the most famous sports which are broadcasted on television. The adrenaline-pumping rush of the insanely fast overtakes from the outside in a fast corner is what excites most fans. But how eco-friendly is the sport? The modern F1 car uses a 1.6-litre V6 engine which consumes fuel at a rate of approximately 3.5 miles per gallon. All the races on the F1 calendar are 190 miles long which means that every car on the grid uses 54 gallons of fuel at each race and that multiplied by 20 cars on the grid makes it nearly 1100 gallons of high-performance fuel. Added to this, there is a qualifying session and three practice sessions which add to this fuel consumption and air pollution.
In fact, due to the very reason of air pollution, this year’s Emilia Romagna GP at Imola had a two day race weekend instead of the traditional three day weekend. And it is not only the fuel consumption that raises the eyebrows of environmental activists. FIA, the governing body for motorsport in the world, is notoriously known to force F1 tire manufacturers to decrease the life of tires by manipulating its composition to give the race an enthralling edge.
The F1 car chassis contains about 85% of carbon fibre which is neither recyclable nor biodegradable. This is concerning because most of the races involve crashes in which a part of the car has to be replaced and most of the time these “parts” are aero components which are made solely out of carbon fibre.
But even with these many red flags, Formula 1 has always been evolving and has been doing its best to give back to society. The most recent example being the “Project Pitlane” in which all the UK based F1 teams united in an effort to answer the call for the ever-increasing need for ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic. Even the fuel being used in Formula 1 these days has evolved a lot from the toluene which was being used in the cars in the 80s. Efforts to increase the bio-components in F1 fuel are being made by all the teams on the grid.