The words ‘Formula One’ and ‘eco-friendly’ don’t exactly sit well together, but the issue was raised at a Fans Forum last week.
Asked: “How does F1’s drive to be green balance with the increased use of tyres during the race?”, Mercedes boss Ross Brawn replied: “What I should do is ask Pirelli what they do with the old tyres. Some of it gets left on the track, as you know, and that’s one of the features of this year.
“I’m sure they do something about recycling the tyres and they’ve done a lot to improve the racing too. All credit to them. We were all a bit anxious about the change, but they’ve done a really good job and opened up the racing enormously and made it more interesting.”
The question was posed at the Fans Forum hosted by the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) at McLaren’s Woking base last week.
Brawn also said: “There’s been a strong drive to cut down on the amount of equipment that we take to each race and there’s now a cap on the number of people we can have at the track.
“We’ve looked at all of the initiatives we can to reduce the size of our carbon footprint and it’s fair to say the cars are only a tiny part of that impact.
“The important thing about racing cars is the message they can give out. With the new engine in 2014, it’s not about the new engine being more efficient in itself, it’s the message it gives that it’s cool to have a really efficient engine. One that’s going to race on a lot less fuel because we’re setting dramatic targets for the amount of fuel we race on in the future. Thirty, 40, 50 percent less than we have now, but still with the same amount of power and excitement that we have now.
“We don’t want to have fuel economy racing, but we want to set targets for the engineers.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team