Gascoyne on Green F1

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Mike Gascoyne, the magic man of Force India, has reminded us that KERS is not a system to instantly label F1 as being “Green”.

Gascoyne, meanwhile, dismissed suggestions that KERS can immediately give Formula One the right to claim it is a ‘green’ sport.

“We’ll be throwing batteries away after each race and all that sort of thing – is it particularly green? Well, no,” he admitted.

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mark h
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mark h

this all strikes me as utterly absurd. Consider the amount of ecological advancements caused by motor racing (Fuel injection and general efficiency, lightweight technologies, more efficient transmissions and automatic shifting, tyre compound development, etc, etc, etc) just because that’s what the teams strive for. NOBODY wants an overly thirsty car after all or one that destroy its tyres after all. That makes it seem really odd to twist the teams’ arms like this, they contribute to green technology anyway, just not directly in terms of what their cars emit. But this is motorsport – gosh darn it. They’re never going… Read more »

mark h
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mark h

Mike: I couldn’t agree more. —- How weird it feels to say that! I also don’t get why we need to force ecologism (and I am an ecologist) on F1. Motorsport has helped create cleaner motoring in so many ways… (Fuel injection and general efficiency, tyre compunds and wear, transmission improvements and slicker automatics, lightweight technologies and so on and so on…) All this came organically – excuse bad pun – through a desire to improve speed. For EVERYONE wants their car to be (relatviely) fuel efficient and not burn out its tyres too quick, otherwise you won’t win. Why… Read more »

Lucas S.
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Lucas S.

Someone call Al Gore to remedy this situation asap.

Lucas S.

mark h
Guest
mark h

for instance biofuels — whose bright idea was that, eh? For biofuels are soooooo good for mother earth after all!
Except that people are starving, and rainforests are being decimated, all in the name of Mother Earth. Whoops.

SJ Skid
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SJ Skid

Hey NC. Somewhere else — hmmm, maybe on a Podcast? — you wondered about why a US Grand Prix couldnt’ find an American sponsor, especially at $6 million or so. I wonder if the very non-green nature of the sport has U.S. companies gun shy on jumping aboard what seems a great opportunity for global brand awareness. Oil companies aren’t going to want to be identified with something that uses a bunch of gas, for sure. And I suspect other potential sponsors — I think you mentioned IBM and the like — probably are looking for more environmentally friendly options.… Read more »

Negative Camber
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Could be SJ. The “green” movement has certainly taken root in corporate America and has become an industry of its own. companies are capitalizing on the desire to be green and perhaps F1 is not the most representative of the “green” movement.

Having said that; I can’t really claim that NASCAR or IRL is either and they seem to be flush with sponsors unless someone knows something I don’t. Maybe the sponsor money is waning in NASCAR but from an occasional onlooker, it doesn’t appear to be.

SJ Skid
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SJ Skid

Good point, NC. NASCAR and IRL aren’t the most green events anyone could be sponsoring, and yet they do have the support. I wonder whether those two organizations will have any trouble getting sponsors to re-up when the time comes. I also think that the media coverage of, say, an IBM sponsoring the IBM U.S. Grand Prix might be more of a challenge, since it would be new and the only F1 race in the States. That focus — which you’d think would be good for a sponsor — could also turn into a “IBM supports this polluting, oil-guzzling elitist… Read more »

mark h
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mark h

f1 is green. It’s green, green, green. Sure it uses lots of gas – but it’s racers which create the technology which makes normal cars more efficient.

Environmentalists don’t invent jack diddly squat – it’s the “polluters” which figure out how to pollute less.

Positive Caster
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Positive Caster

Mark, you hit the nail on the head. Being an engineer I know the only way to make advancements is to push the limits. We are not going to produce the technology of tomorrow by thinking happy thoughts… unfortunately most cutting edge endeavours (auto racing, aerospace, etc) do a poor job of educating the uninformed how their efforts directly lead to improvements in everyday life. Computers, microchips, fibre optics and many other now common items were derived from research to benefit activities many would find distasteful. Look it up sometime…

John Stone
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John Stone

I’m more in favor of them starting to cut back on the gas allowed for each weekend of racing, And each year reducing it more, you’ll see the gurus in F1 engine development, building engines that develop the same horsepower on less fuel.

John “I’m feeling fuelish!” Stone

Negative Camber
Guest

Of all the places to cut back, I just can’t see F1 being a large culprit of greenhouse gases. I think the Green movement is a noble cause but it is increasing the cost of F1, not reducing it. I attended a “green” trade show and it cost $450 to buy a ticket to work a booth at the show and $150 to buy a ticket to attend. The day before the show they reduced attendance fees to $20 because no one was buying them. The show was a bust because it was too expensive. The green movement shouldn’t be… Read more »

Jim
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Jim

Personally I do not care if the general public considers F1 is green or not. Auto racing is inherently enviromentally unfirendly. The fuel and greenhouse gases generated from the race itself is nothing in comparrison to what is geneated by the haulers the private jets, and everything else that is used to get people and equpiment from one race to the next , as well as to get to testing. Like others have already suggested the real benefit of auto racing is how much technology is develped to make what we drive every day more fuel efficient. If F1 wants… Read more »

Negative Camber
Guest

LOL. Great point Jim. Or maybe Lewis and Fernando?

Positive Caster
Guest
Positive Caster

Maybe they can hitch a ride with Max & Bernie… or Luca and Ron…

The sport itself can either be green or entertaining. With today’s technology I don’t see how it can be both. Imagine Fernando and Louise swooshing by practically silently in electric cars. Exciting, huh? Like sweets or spank many of parties the best things in life are not always best for you (except maybe the parties). ;-)~

Jim
Guest
Jim

the issue now isn’t that F1 cars are terrible to the enviroment, it is simply that everyone now feels it neccesary to be as enviromentally friendlyas possible or your just a horrible person. Bernie and the FIA need to NOT bend to the hippies who would force them to glue solar panels to the car and continure to do what they do best. Now excuse me while I fill up my F250 that gets 8mpg

Negative Camber
Guest

LOL. Well they did spot weld a fan to the back of a car once but I guess that didn’t work. Why not solar panels. :)

Jim
Guest
Jim

imagine Monaco this year…sun goes behind the clouds rain starts to fall and the cars stop dead on the track. Imagine all those personal assistants leaping up running onto the track umbrellas in hand to protect their drivers from the rain. That would make for some excitement

Lamy
Guest
Lamy

Sooner or later green will come to motorsport and F1 in particular. why: The market demands green products and services and this trend won’t go away… Sponsors will respond by going green. It is a key issue in terms of corporate responsibility and sustainability and you just can’t promote a corporate image by supporting or being in a non-friendly sport or whatever you do in terms of marketing strategy. Car manufactures are already taking seriously R&D to promote green cars and brands: hybrid cars, energy/fuel saving engines, flexfuel engines that run on bioethanol, recycling, offsetting carbon emissions by planting trees… Read more »

SJ Skid
Guest
SJ Skid

Relatively early in this discussion, NC pointed out that NASCAR and IRL are keeping sponsors despite being as anti-green as F1. Today’s news is that Dario Franchetti’s NASCAR team is folding. He’s marketable, has a movie star wife…. so maybe sponsors are turning away from sports that at least come across as anti-green? Probably not, probably has more to do with his having a terrible year, but … I certainly agree that F1 could be a place for developing the technologies that help us reduce greenhouse gases. I know F1 in the past helped generate ideas and innovations for everyday… Read more »

Jim
Guest
Jim

Darios team folding has more to with fewer big name sponsor due to hard economic times. I think the technology that has trickled down recently probably has not made into more of the everyday road vehicles but the high end stuff BMW Mercedes S class Ferrari etc.. just a thought