Honda’s green car has been the major talking point in F1 since it’s launch yesterday. Many critics have said that the sentiment is good, however the RA107 will still pump huge quanitities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere because it is still burning fossil fuels in the form of petrol. An F1 car emits nearly nine times more carbon dioxide per kilometre than a standard road car.
However, Honda have syayed that “If just 1% of F1 viewers turned their computer off at the plug overnight, this would save 45,000 tonnes of CO2., (which is) more than three and a half times the annual carbon emissions of the entire Honda Racing F1 Team.”
London newspaper The Telegraph made a pertinent point, staing that “They should have more pressing matters on their mind than embracing an ethos. Such as winning more races.”
Team boss Nick Fry was quick to counter the criticism, stating that the new paint job was categorically not a publicity stunt. “We knew from research that 94% of people thought it was a good idea, there are always going to be the remaining cynics but we have no time for that,” Fry explained. “The case for climate change is well proven. One individual or nation will not solve the problem and this call to action is for everyone to make a positive move rather than waiting for the inevitable.”
Button and Barrichello have also pledged to follow their team’s lead and try to lead a more environmetally friendly life – to start, both now driver fuel-efficient Honda hybrid cars when they are away from the track. Speaking in London, Button said “Now I make a point of doing little things to help the environment. I always switch off my television rather than leave it on stand-by.”
Meanwhile, there is still a lot of work to be done before it will be a winning car. Nick Fry has already said to fans, “please don’t expect us to win in Melbourne as we probably won’t.” The RA107 has yet to impress in testing, usually finishing over a second off the top runners.
In an interview with website sportnetwork.net, Fry talked about what to expect in the coming season. “This car is actually technologically very different. We’ve taken a bigger step in the longer runs that will give us more potential for improvements, but in the shorter runs it’s a bit more difficult to set up. Where we are is we’re aiming to start get quicker, start to put the new aero bits on the car in Bahrain. In terms of last week, one lap times were a big problem, but long run times you’re probably right, we’re probably half a second at least from where we should be.
“Realistically, where I believe we are is that we’ll be in a position to score points in Melbourne, but we’re trying to win the war and not individual battles. We want to be winning races certainly, and I think we’ll be winning races in the second half of the season, but what I’ll say to your readers is “please don’t expect us to win in Melbourne as we probably won’t.
“We tried before Christmas six different rear suspension configurations and decided on one with the geometry that’s in front of you now,” Fry explained. “The front also has been through a number of iterations. One thing which has been very positive about this car is that in terms of not only setting up the suspension but also setting up the aerodynamics, it’s got a lot of flexibility, so we can move the aerodynamic pressures around the car and it’s proven very good in that respect, but on the other hand giving yourself a lot of options does mean you’ve got more potential, but it does also mean you’ve got more potential to get it wrong.
“You’ve got more things to experiment with and we really didn’t find the balance in the car until the final Friday in Europe before we came to Bahrain. In that respect we started to say that’s the balance direction we wanted to go in, hence the developments this week in Bahrain and also next week.”