I have just been listening to the latest Motorsport podcast – which is a collision of modern technology and old fashioned attitudes – and was struck by what the guest, Patrick Head, said about F1 and the need to be green. I have questioned if Formula One really needs to bother with environmental credentials because it entertains so many for the fuel expended. Patrick Head was questioned on how he now was concerned about such matters, but before had said that Formula One had a right to exist without such wider responsibilities. He responded that every sponsor they spoke to asked about Formula One’s environmental profile.
We all know big businesses are purporting to be green, although it is often little more than PR. So Formula One does need to pretend to be green or the big payers will not pay for it. Even if we find it laughable at times, such as the green stripes on the tyres, F1 needs to be PR-correct. It often seems the case in life we all have to do stupid things so other people will not think less of us, even though one never meets anyone that genuinely sees the point.
The other interesting titbit was that although Williams are pushing their KERS flywheel technology outside of F1, they do not plan on using it next year in F1. It was explained that without refueling (which makes fuel tanks about three times bigger), packaging it into the car is not practical, whereas lithium-ion batteries can be fitted with greater flexibility in other areas of the car. With the extra cooling lithium-ion batteries need requiring extra space and weight, I do wonder why the slightly heavier and more reusable lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are not to be employed instead.