Formula One isn’t the most environmentally friendly organization, but it’s working hard to become one. F1 is aiming for net zero carbon emissions by the end of the decade, and engine manufacturers have been testing sustainable fuels in recent years.
F1 leaders intend to use only sustainable fuels in F1 cars by 2026. However, race cars are only a small part of the puzzle. Holding two dozen grand prix around the world necessitates the movement of cars, parts, and other materials between circuits, which increases carbon emissions.
However, the Mercedes-AMG F1 team has experimented with a method to reduce freight emissions. It used HVO 100 biofuel in 16 trucks as it moved operations between Spa, Zandvoort, and Monza for the season’s final three European grands prix.
Mercedes didn’t need to rely on air freight to ship cars and components because those circuits are relatively close to each other.
Given a total driving distance of approximately 1,400 kilometers, this provided the team with an excellent opportunity to test the biofuel (870 miles). However, due to supply issues, the team had to use diesel fuel for the final 20km (just over 12 miles).
According to one study, using HVO 100 reduced freight emissions by 89 percent. Overall, Mercedes saved 44,091kg (97,204 pounds) of CO2 emissions when compared to using only diesel for both journeys.
It was stated that HVO 100 is made from vegetable oils, waste oils, and fats and is completely free of fossil fuels. The fuel also emits less NOx and particulate matter.
“Sustainability is at the heart of our operations. Trialing the use of biofuels for our land freight is another example of our commitment to embed sustainability in every decision we make and action we take,” Mercedes F1 team principal Toto Wolff said.
“We aim to be on the cutting edge of change and hope we can make the adoption of sustainable technology possible as we are all in the race towards a sustainable tomorrow.”
Other biofuels are being researched for possible use in Formula 1. This season, teams began using E10 biofuels (which contain 10% renewable ethanol) in F1 cars as part of the transition to fully sustainable fuels.
While this is still a long way from fully sustainable fuels, the use of E10 and HVO 100 are positive steps toward making motorsport much more environmentally friendly.