Thursday, July 1, 2010

Formula 1 to Begin Monitoring CO2 Emissions

Photo Credit: Mercedes GP

On Wednesday, the FIA (Federation Internationale de l-Automobile) has commissioned that Formula 1 teams will now be monitored for the amount of CO2 emissions they produce. The program does not only encompass Formula 1 cars but the complex of entire teams as well as the sanctioning body. For example, transportation of vehicle parts from suppliers, usage of power along with other team-related functions will be monitored and calculated. In hopes, as the accounting takes place, teams within the sport will attempt to find methods to reduce their environmental impact.

By doing this, the FIA not only wants to work for teams to reduce CO2 emission production but how Formula 1 could lessen the sport's environmental impact. It is also the intent by these activities to make Formula 1 and other FIA-sanctioned events a benchmark for environmental sustainability in the auto industry.

This CO2 monitoring was a initiative that resulted from a FIA panel established in December 2008. The FIA Environmentally Sustainable Motor Sport Commission was created to examine the effects of Formula 1 and other motorsports had on the globe. Ultimately concluding that auto racing activities had little effect on environmental sustainability, the panel suggested that efforts such as the CO2 monitoring plan can provide a first step showing FIA auto racing as a relevant activity running into the future.

A comprehensive plan within the FIA, changes will likely transpire within the manufacturer chain which may include F1 teams purchasing products closer to their vehicle construction plants. Last season, Formula 1 teams were permitted to use the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) technology which allowed the equivalent of a 81 horsepower boost. But, of course, the technology is being phased out for 2011 with only Williams F1 committed to using KERS. Despite the KERS hardware being discontinued after this year, Chief Engineer of McLaren Tom Goss expressed to the Formula 1 official website in May that KERS could return in the future. With a major engine change expected for the 2013 Formula 1 season, the first chance for reducing greenhouse emissions will likely be incorporated in the engine format.

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