The FIA has released the Environmentally Sustainable Motor Sport Commission (ESMSC) report on the measures it looks to impose on Formula 1. Apparently Max Mosley, FIA President, and his council have gotten their hands on some of the hot buzz words and “green” movement phrases via a LEEDS certification handbook straight from America. Look…I am all for being good stewards of our environment but I am already weary of the “greenwashing” of businesses, charities, energy companies, toothbrush companies, radios, batteries (LOL), diaper companies, banks, insurance companies, the US government, military, the Moon, Hollywood, soda makers, drug lords, cars companies, legos, Apple, Microsoft, NY Times, the odd guy in the Sham-wow commercials, the entire state of California and Captain & Tennille.
The mere fact that Mosley is suggesting that F1 is morally responsible for being carbon neutral as well as devising a way to single handedly save the planet is nonsensical. The desire to choke F1 to adhere to the “green” movement is yet another Mosley-famous pragmatic move that will cost millions, eliminate jobs and do nothing to improve the “entertainment” as they call it.
Am I against F1 being more efficient? Heck no! We have been championing what I will call the “Matchett Plan” for a long time now. Speed TV’s Steve Matchett had advocated doing away with KERS and instead of trying to “greenwash” F1; place real tasks before the teams. Mainly, reducing the amount of fuel flow an F1 engine has and let the engineering wizards go crazy. F1 engines are already more efficient than an average commuter car. They get approximately 3.1 mpg and create 800 bhp at 18,000 revs. Not many engines can produce this kind of power with that kind of fuel flow.
So the shining moment in this magnificent politically correct guilt imposing document is the desire to look at efficiency and not capacity. Let us hope they have been listening and that they will not ruin F1 because they feel guilty for being a carbon based life form that consumes oxygen.
FIA Environmentally Sustainable Motor Sport Policy
Following discussions on a number of issues relating to environmentally sustainable motor sport,
the Environmentally Sustainable Motor Sport Commission (ESMSC) agreed upon a number of policy
proposals. These draft proposals were submitted to the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC), where
it was agreed that they would serve as a strong framework for further discussions. The ESMSC
sought further feedback to its proposed policies in a plenary meeting bringing together
representatives from National Sporting Authorities, Manufactures, and the FIAâ€™s Regulatory
Commissions. Having now consulted with all parties the ESMSC is submitting its proposals for
formal endorsement and adoption by the WMSC.
1. Efficiency based competition
Motor sport must move from a power per unit of a combination of one or more of: swept
volume/RPM/boost pressure/sonic orifice diameter, as a basis for engine performance
regulation, to one of power per unit of energy. This would automatically put the technical
emphasis on energy efficiency, and enable all efficiency technologies to be embraced. This
approach, combined with appropriate fuels, will also minimise the emissions of CO2. In
order to enable the public to easily understand this efficiency concept applied to motor
sport, it is also necessary to limit the amount of fuel/energy consumed by a competitor
during a race. For reasons of the cost of development, technologies may need to be
restricted depending on the nature of a given championship/series.
In order to achieve the goal of increased efficiency, a series of progressive targets for each
FIA Championship and International Series are needed in order to measure progress, with
the goal of fundamentally changing the technology basis of racing, and contributing to the
development of the road car of the future.
Within these changes it is crucial for entertainment to be preserved and even increased,
for winners to be determined by the first to cross the finishing line, with new regulations
simple enough to be understood by fans and the public.
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions should be regulated on an onboard energy
reservoir to wheel basis
It is not the role of motor sport to determine which chemical molecules will ultimately
deliver the energy used in fuels for road transport. Nor is it currently possible to regulate
energy consumption or CO2 emissions on a wellâ€toâ€wheel basis. New alternative fuel
sources may be tested and promoted in specific alternative energy series, however other
series should follow government/energy industry policy in this respect and promote
sustainable fuels that will come into common usage.
It should avoid pitting gasoline .v. diesel .v. bioâ€fuels .v. etc. in the existing, well established championships, as a balancing formula is needed to allow the different fuels and their
associated engines to compete equally. This inevitably leads to favouring one fuel
over another due to different fundamental characteristics and efficiencies of the
engines burning those fuels.
Clear and distinct categories are needed if various fuels types compete in a single event.
All fuels permitted and the tendering criteria for the supply of fuels to championships
should follow legislation and/or best practice for the production of those fuels, as defined
by international organisations e.g. the EU Directive on Low Carbon Fuels and Sustainability
Criteria for Biofuels. The use of the highest grade of available production fuels, locally
sourced, will help reduce the need for transport of racing fuels globally.
3. Carbon Neutrality
It is proposed that the total activity of putting on a motor sport championship or series
should be carbon neutral. In line with the polluter pays principle, the FIA should offset its
own regulatory presence, and encourage others to offset their own emissions by making
offsetting a condition of involvement to a championship or series. The FIA will not regulate
carbon assessment or offsetting methods simply require demonstration that both have
been undertaken. In order to further assist the FIA will make available a non exhaustive list
of recommended auditors and offset providers. Such action in offsetting will gain respect
of environmentalists if it is part of a wider long term strategy for emissions reductions.
4. Technology promotion
Energy recovery technologies should be promoted through motor sport. The best method
of integrating the various levels of hybridisation, ensuring equivalency, and promoting their
qualities, is in an efficiencyâ€based formula as described in point one. Although many
automobile manufacturers are developing hybrids, there is a strong opinion that they do
not represent a cost effective means of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, but
are increasingly demanded by the market place. Energy Recovery Systems technology,
however, is fundamental to the future of the automobile, including these hybrids. Motor
sport can make a useful contribution to development and marketing. Technology such as
fly wheels reducing dependence on batteries and concentrating on ICE load shift proves to
be the most promising way forward.
5. Best practice
Best environmentally sustainable practice in the holding of motor sport events, both
circuitâ€based and rallies, and including energy use, carbon offsetting, noise control, waste
disposal, water protection, spectator traffic management, and physical damage to the local
environment, should be established in consultation with ASNs and circuit operators.
Existing best practices should be pooled and commonly established, and best practice
guidelines should be published.
6. Polluter pays
In line with polluter pays principle motor sport should not offset spectators or their travel,
effectively subsidising others parties personal emissions. Initiatives to aid offsetting of
third parties should be supported.
Motor Sport is symbolic of the entire motor industry. Communications should be prepared
to show how motor sport is moving to becoming sustainable itself and how it is catalysing
sustainability across the entire sector. In addition communications should aim to protect
motor sport from external critics, while also focusing on educating internal audiences to
help motor sport champion its sustainability credentials. Focus should be on: motor sportâ€™s
carbon neutrality and lowering GHG emissions, as well as motor sportâ€™s technological
contribution to the wider automotive reductions of fuel consumption. The irrelevance of
direct comparison between road vehicles and motor sport vehicles on issues such as
driving cycles should also be clearly communicated.
The responsibility for the safety of a vehicle remains with the competitor. New fuels and
new high voltage electric power technologies bring new safety issues to Motor Sport:
Factory/workshop/Labs: Must abide by Health and Safety Regulations
Pits, Pit lane: Must abide by Health and Safety Regulations
Vehicle: Must not degrade existing motor sport safety standards.
Minimum standard is relevant Road Vehicle Standard.
Rescue: New Motor Sport standards and training to be developed
Medical: Appropriate standards and training to be developed.
Safety concerns should be dealt with on a case by case basis by the appropriate existing FIA
9. Driver Aids
Electric power trains and efficiency based performance regulation introduces the
possibility for two classes of Driver Aids, both highly relevant to road vehicles:
Traction control, ABS, ESC: Should not be allowed unless existing Sporting/Technical
Regulations permit it.
Efficiency: Each class of racing should decide whether it wishes to
encourage efficient driving skills, or permit software for
optimum use of energy.
Each championship/series should consider which driver aids should be banned or
Perhaps the most “green” move F1 could make is removing Mosley. The savings in paper and hot air alone would be enough to render the entire country of France carbon neutral for close to a decade. Wonder how he will enjoy retirement? Perhaps he and Jackie Earle Haley could get together over a couple of beers twice weekly and watch Damnation Alley.