Who’s pay­ing for it?

F1 Racing - - IN­SIDER -

In­side the Sauber garage in Va­len­cia, the walls are not the usual red, white and grey of the Swiss team, but blue and green. A nod to the phrase on the side of the C31: Clean Air En­ergy.

Through­out her ca­reer in Amer­ica, De Sil­ve­stro has been an am­bas­sador for this cam­paign. Her man­ager, Im­ran Safi­ulla, is be­hind the ini­tia­tive and with his own links to the util­ity and power in­dus­try, he ex­plains that these com­pa­nies in the US wanted to in­crease their aware­ness within a tech-driven, younger de­mo­graphic.

“If you take Usain Bolt into a class­room there is no rel­e­vance to this in­dus­try,” says Safi­ulla. “If you take a hy­brid F1 car into a school they in­stantly see the rel­e­vance of sus­tain­abil­ity and tech­nol­ogy work­ing to­gether. No one in F1 is try­ing to make the en­gines less ef­fi­cient or the tyres less green, so it’s a nat­u­ral fit to en­cour­age the util­ity com­pa­nies to join this cam­paign.”

On the mid­dle day of the Va­len­cia test, Safi­ulla in­vited lo­cal schoolchildren to the Va­len­cia race­track to meet Si­mona and to learn how tech­nol­ogy in F1 can drive change in en­ergy de­mands. “A rac­ing car is not there to pol­lute, it’s there to pol­lute less,” ex­plains Safi­ulla.

Many util­ity com­pa­nies have in­vested in the scheme, as well as other per­sonal and pri­vate in­vestors. Ob­vi­ously run­ning three F1 tests over the course of a year is costly, but the cam­paign could gather sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment and mo­men­tum for the fu­ture.

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