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Green Agenda To Fuel F1

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Green Agenda To Fuel F1

LONDON, England (CNN) -- At a time when gasoline prices are rising and supply is declining, Formula One can seem a little out of touch.

After all, 20 cars are going round and round, burning fuel, in the quickest time possible. And though miles per gallon is important to the result on the race track, in today's world it matters a whole lot more off it.

Refueling during pitstops is the most obvious manifestation of F1's slavish relationship with gasoline.

An F1 team uses around 200,000 liters per season in testing and racing, and the sport's gas-guzzling image bottomed out last season.

A phase of the qualifying session in 2007 was known as the fuel burn, where the cars would circulate just to shed the weight of the fuel and thus increase speed.

That went for 2008 when team bosses realized that it was an unsustainable concept from an environmental point of view.

But the sport's governing body, the FIA, want to take the issue further given how slow F1 has been to address the rise in prominence of green issues taking place away from the track.

The FIA wants an initial 20 percent reduction in the F1 fuel consumption by 2011, no mean feat in a formula using 2.4-liter V8 engines that burn close to a liter of gasoline per kilometer.

In a letter written to team principals, FIA president Max Mosley said: "With attention on energy problems worldwide, Formula One cannot afford to be profligate in its use of fuel.

"The target should be a 50 percent reduction from today's levels of fuel consumption by 2015, while maintaining current speeds.

"The rules should encourage manufacturer teams to research technologies which are road-relevant rather than Formula One specific."

This last point is not necessarily the problem with fuel. Since 1993, the fuel used in F1 has been virtually identical to gasoline used by road cars, a move driven in part by the desire on the part of the oil companies involved to have demonstrable links between race and road fuel.

That selling point remains key -- F1 fuel could be used in a road car, providing a 40bhp power boost at 10 times the cost of regular unleaded.

Attempting to track real-world trends, the sport insisted teams run with fuel that includes at least 5.75 percent bio-fuel from this season.

Virtually all the major global oil companies are in F1: the Castrol, Esso, Mobil 1, Shell, Elf, Petrobras, Eneos and Petronas brands are all competing against each other at considerable cost, but not without good justification.

Petrobras introduced the aptly named Podium, a high-performance road-car fuel derived from, and marketed on the back of, the Brazilian oil company's 10-year involvement in F1 with Williams.

Shell have more than 50 people working with Ferrari and hold a contract until 2010 to continue with the Scuderia as a marketing tool for its V-Power unleaded and Helix lubricants.

"Shell's deep technical partnership with Ferrari is an essential part of its overall design and development strategy, as it seeks to create better products for the road," said a spokesman of the Anglo-Dutch company's involvement in F1.

Much is made of the influence of tires on an F1 car, but it is much rarer for a team's oil partner to be given credit.

But the 10-year freeze on engine development has meant that enhancements are being sought in oil and lubricants to bring the best out of engines.

Renault-powered Red Bull and Ferrari-engined Toro Rosso effectively share a chassis, but the two teams have gone in opposite directions in performance recently -- and the finger has been pointed at the power plants.

"There has been an enormous amount of work on fuel and oil composition so as to improve outright performance," according to ITV commentator Martin Brundle.

"With so many clever people involved and such enormous budgets and resources they will always find ways to increase performance within the strict terms of the regulations."

At the British Grand Prix in July, McLaren felt compelled to hail the achievements of their oil supplier Mobil 1 in providing new products that improved performance.

"Silverstone saw the introduction of new fuel and lubricants from our partners at Mobil 1 and that has also made an incremental but useful improvement to engine performance," said Martin Whitmarsh, the team's chief executive officer.

As F1 races after the dollar in markets half a world away from its European heartland, more flights will be needed to transport the 20 teams' cargo. And these planes are so heavy, they can only fly for eight hours before needing to land and refuel.

Perversely, then, oil seems more important than ever to F1.

And Honda Motor Company president and chief executive officer Takeo Fukui is happy to provide the counter argument to the green agenda.

"I think we might save some fuel if we're going to stop formula racing, but people don't live thinking about the environment only. You need to enjoy your life," he said.

"That's what we're here for, and therefore we think that we need to have motor sports for the sake of enjoyment. That's the reason we need to have Formula One racing."

Source: CNN

Could think be the reason Ferrari and Mclaren are doing well?? While Elf hasen't been good enough to increase, while Shell and Mobil 1 are...

Also does anyone know which fuel RBR and STR use?? and if it is different??

Thats line from Honda explains a lot... :lol:

Edited by goferrarigo

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Re Honda:

They are right. As an analogy, we don't go around punching people, but we still have boxing as a sport.

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Could think be the reason Ferrari and Mclaren are doing well?? While Elf hasen't been good enough to increase, while Shell and Mobil 1 are...

Also does anyone know which fuel RBR and STR use?? and if it is different??

Thats line from Honda explains a lot... :lol:

I know that RBR use Elf due to the Renault connection, not 100% sure but I would say with confidence that STR use Shell.

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OK this is a little over the top , these cars are not for taking one to work and home they are race cars , hell why don't the drivers just "car pool" if they wanna save gas .

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OK this is a little over the top , these cars are not for taking one to work and home they are race cars , hell why don't the drivers just "car pool" if they wanna save gas .

It's not about that man... The article is just trying to say, that the teams should try to improve the mpl to more than 1 litre per kilometre. That mileage is just ridiculos...

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Well, without the engine freeze being thawed, there isn't going to be much improvement on the fuel efficency front, nor a switch to diesel. SO all this is just fluff at the moment. If they changed the regs to multi-fuel cars, then maybe we'd see some innovative thinking, but of course this will cost money, and Max doesn't like that. SO we'll keep running these V8's for another few years yet....

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Back in the 70's during the fuel embargo CART added new rules limiting pit stops and fuel use during races , it helped spur new ways to run faster and use less fuel but , its racing not everyday folks driving to work or as we did when I was a kid go out for a sunday drive that had to stop because the price of gas out striped the wages of the time and then Jimmy Carter mandated 55mph speed limit all which helped save gas but , to have a sport or entertainment venue to increase MPG or LPK is alittel outta hand , look at IRL teams using Ethanol , thats like taking food and making it into fuel , does that make sense , no we need alternate fuels not raise the MPG of racing cars .

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I agree with Honduh on this because you can always do a lot of crap to make your life 'greener', but you have to enjoy life.

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The problem with the regulations that try to encourage innovation is that they try to predict what the innovation should be. The real way to do it is put one massive roadblock in the way but don't say how they must get around it.

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The problem with the regulations that try to encourage innovation is that they try to predict what the innovation should be. The real way to do it is put one massive roadblock in the way but don't say how they must get around it.

Yeah - you would've though after all this time the teams would have worked out a way AROUND Max :P

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Back in the 70's during the fuel embargo CART added new rules limiting pit stops and fuel use during races , it helped spur new ways to run faster and use less fuel but , its racing not everyday folks driving to work or as we did when I was a kid go out for a sunday drive that had to stop because the price of gas out striped the wages of the time and then Jimmy Carter mandated 55mph speed limit all which helped save gas but , to have a sport or entertainment venue to increase MPG or LPK is alittel outta hand , look at IRL teams using Ethanol , thats like taking food and making it into fuel , does that make sense , no we need alternate fuels not raise the MPG of racing cars .

We need both... Did you hear about the guy who ran a car prototype on seawater for 1 hours and can refill it with any kind of water.... That's the stuff that needs to be very funded and researched and got into ALL cars...

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We need both... Did you hear about the guy who ran a car prototype on seawater for 1 hours and can refill it with any kind of water.... That's the stuff that needs to be very funded and researched and got into ALL cars...

I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank, after being paid to hand over the design copyright!!!

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The problem with the regulations that try to encourage innovation is that they try to predict what the innovation should be. The real way to do it is put one massive roadblock in the way but don't say how they must get around it.

I found a great analogy for F1 today:

F1 is a ten lane highway and everybody is given a rule book and the basic objective is to get to the finish line at the other end of the highway. And mad max is the traffic cop. The only problem is that Max decides to close 9 of the ten lanes and then complains that everybody is spending millions upon millions of dollars all driving in the same lane.

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I found a great analogy for F1 today:

F1 is a ten lane highway and everybody is given a rule book and the basic objective is to get to the finish line at the other end of the highway. And mad max is the traffic cop. The only problem is that Max decides to close 9 of the ten lanes and then complains that everybody is spending millions upon millions of dollars all driving in the same lane.

Pretty good!

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I bet he is laughing all the way to the bank, after being paid to hand over the design copyright!!!

Mainly i am talking about this video i saw (http://www.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=84561)

Though on looking for the video i found this out:

http://www.dailynews.lk/2008/07/16/news12.asp

Abt a Sri Lankan dude who created his own thing to run for 300 km on 3 litres of water...

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