Formula for going green
AFORMULA One race is just about the last place you’d expect to hear people talking about greening the car world.
But Albert Park on Sunday was the focus for a global push to make cars better for the environment and work towards a single worldwide standard for everything from crash safety to greenhouse gas emissions.
Australian GP winner Lewis Hamilton is a supporter of the move and was one of the first in the world to wear a Make Cars Greener wristband — made from 100 per cent recycled material — before leading a photo call on the start grid with all F1 drivers.
Make Cars Greener is an obvious move by Honda and Toyota, which are leading the world in hybrid vehicles.
But the push is actually coming from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.
It is best known as the governing body of world motorsport and F1, but is also the organisation that represents the world’s automobile clubs, right down to the RACV in Victoria.
It believes there must be a single, concerted push to develop greener cars and is working to encourage carmakers and governments to get together for the good of the planet— with its F1 drivers leading the parade.
The FIA obviously is not trying to kill the car, unlike some extreme green groups, but to get the best result while keeping the individual freedom it gives all of us. Its plan will mean everything from new hybrids from Honda to the sort of cylinder-cut economy improvements coming on the Commodore and many more.
Among the umbrella moves the FIA will promote to reduce the effects of motoring on the environment are the global use of unleaded and sulphur-free fuels, promotion of better driving techniques and new technologies, and — not surprisingly, since Bridgestone is the FIA’s first partner in Make Cars Greener — the development of low-drag tyres.
It has already called on the United Nations to set a worldwide target for CO2 emissions from passenger cars.
‘‘Energy-efficient technologies are the future of greener motoring and we hope the global platform that Formula One provides can help to accelerate their introduction on our roads,’’ FIA president Max Mosley says.
Bridgestone president Shoshi Arakawa is even more forceful.
‘‘Environmental preservation is one of the most critical issues of our time,’’ he says.
Green scene: Lewis Hamilton with his Make Cars Green wristband.