Green issues are being pushed to the fore in the run-up to the Japanese Grand Prix. During the Fuji race-weekend, all the cars will running with green-striped tyres to show support for the FIA s â€˜Make Cars Green campaign. The softer compound tyres will have a single white stripe alongside the green stripes in order to easily differentiate the two types of tyres.
“We hope that the launch of the Make Cars Green tyre will draw public attention to the many environmental initiatives in and around Formula One,” said Bridgestone CEO Shoshi Arakawa.
“Environmental preservation is at the centre of our work at the Bridgestone Group and we hope that this collaboration with the FIA will help to spread this ethos worldwide.”
“Since it first launched I’ve been happy to help promote the very positive messages of the Make Cars Green campaign,” McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton said.
“It is a subject that goes far beyond racing. The car is an incredibly positive thing and I think the messages of the campaign help to show us that we can all choose to drive in a greener way.
“The new â€˜Make Cars Green tyre that all the teams will be running on in Fuji is a great way to promote the campaign and a real first for Formula One. The sport can also help in other ways, especially with the launch of new energy efficient technologies next season.â€
And it s not just on the track that drivers are trying to be green either.
“I genuinely try and reduce the amount of driving I do away from the racetrack,â€ Hamilton explained. “I always use GPS to plan my route and save fuel. And I m often away for so long that it s always useful to check my car s tyre pressures before I head out on a long journey for safety as well as economy s sake.
“At home, I like to use public transport so I don t get stuck in traffic jams. I also do a lot of cycling, so it certainly feels like I m playing my part in helping
conserve the environment.â€
“For any driver, there are many things you can do to help the environment,â€ Heikki Kovalainen added. “For example, in a cold country like Finland, a lot of people leave their cars running to warm them up and that s not good sense.
“I like to use a couple of electric heaters to warm the car up before driving, and I also try not to leave it idling for too long. This is a great way of showing people how to protect the environment and make things easier on their wallets.â€
Meanwhile, Formula 1 teams believe that Formula 1 can lead the way in future green automotive technology.
“In principle we hope KERS is just the start of a number of new efficient technologies in the sport,” BMW motor sport boss Mario Theissen said. “But we have to be careful not to do things which do not make sense. It has to pay off on the road car side as well. It needs to be efficient in terms of environmental impact and also the effort it takes.
“But I think we are on the right track. In the future my expectation is that the powertrain will change from what we have today with the combustion engine and the gearbox to a complex unit incorporating a smaller combustion engine, an electric motor generator, an electric storage unit, control electronics and probably a very different type of transmission.
“The true innovation will lie in the adaptation of these individual components and the integration into a more efficient powertrain. I think F1 can take the lead in that.”
“F1 should certainly be looking to introduce further environmentally-focused regulations in future,” Honda s Ross Brawn added.
“To develop hybrid and heat recovery technologies which can then be used on road cars demonstrates that F1 can play an important role in developing energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.
“Since the launch of our earthdreams initiative at the beginning of the 2007 season, we have had fantastic support from within the Honda family and from our team partners. With more and more organisations understanding the importance of the environmental agenda, we are finding many of our current partners are benefiting from this initiative and using the message it portrays to showcase their own environmental working practices.”