In an effort to achieve their goal of becoming net carbon zero by 2030, Formula 1 has been exploring sustainable solutions to reduce emissions. As part of this initiative, a central power generation farm has been implemented at the Red Bull Ring for the Austrian Grand Prix. The purpose of the farm, located at the inside of the final corner, is to provide power to various areas within the circuit, including the paddock, garages, and pitlane. By utilizing sustainable sources such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel and solar panels spanning an area of 600 square meters, it is anticipated that the farm can reduce emissions by approximately 90%.
Ian Stone, F1‘s logistics director, explained the rationale behind the installation of the generator farm. Previously, teams had to rely on their own generators due to the lack of local infrastructure support. However, with the central power station now in place, teams will have the option to plug in their trucks and motorhomes, eliminating the need for individual generators. Stone emphasized the objective of reducing dependence on generators and the environmental benefits that come with it.
The potential carbon emissions savings from the power generation farm are quite significant. Stone projected that in 2022, the Austrian Grand Prix resulted in around 200 tonnes of CO2 emissions. However, with the farm’s implementation, it is estimated that this figure can be reduced to a mere 10 tonnes of CO2. This substantial reduction is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for Formula 1‘s sustainability goals.
While the use of the power station at the Austrian Grand Prix is currently a one-time event, Formula 1 intends to evaluate its impact and the data collected over the weekend to assess the feasibility of implementing similar setups at future races. The goal is to continuously explore new opportunities and innovative technologies to deliver events in a more sustainable manner and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of the sport.
Ellen Jones, Head of ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) at Formula 1, highlighted the comprehensive approach the sport is taking to drive meaningful impact and influence beyond hybrid engines and sustainable fuels. This commitment to sustainability is reflected in how Formula 1 operates, including the trial of the power generation farm in Austria. By leveraging the latest technology and innovations, the sport aims to revolutionize its practices and contribute to a more sustainable future.