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Formula 1 has announced details of the progress it has made towards its aim of becoming a “net zero” producer of carbon emissions.

One year to the day since its green target was revealed, F1 said it has already made steps towards significantly reducing the carbon emissions produced by its global operation, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19. It also confirmed details of how it plans to overhaul its engine formula in the future.

A new working group involving car manufacturers plus F1 and FIA personnel has been created to help formulate future engine regulations based around sustainably-fuelled hybrid technology. F1 believes this is the best way it can contribute towards developing greener technologies in a world where the vast majority of cars are still powered by internal combustion engines burning fossil fuels.

F1’s headline aim last year was to develop a net-zero hybrid power unit, using a sustainable fuel. The new working group will examine how the cars could be powered by cleaner energy sources.

“This group will be expanded to include specialists from the [original equipment manufacturers] and energy suppliers as well as seeking expertise from independent research groups,” said the series in a statement.

“Although the carbon footprint of the cars is a very small percentage of our carbon footprint as a sport (0.7%) it is important that the most visual part of our sport is sustainable and can have real-world benefits.”

The championship expects internal combustion engines will be part of a net-zero carbon future. “We believe that with over 1 billion of the 1.1 billion vehicles in the world powered by internal combustion engines, we have the potential to lead the way in technologies that reduce automotive carbon emissions globally.

“We also believe that there is not a single solution to the engine technologies of the future but that a sustainably fuel hybrid engine will be a significant moment for the sport and the automotive sector.”

During 2020 F1 has joined Formula E in achieving the FIA’s highest standard of environmental accreditation, the three star rating, along with McLaren and two Formula E teams, Mahindra and Virgin. It also signed up to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework and switched its offices to run on electricity from renewable sources, one of the commitments it set out last year.

The global coronavirus pandemic pushed the championship to accelerate a two-year plan to make its broadcast operations more remote, completing the work in just eight weeks prior to the delayed start of the season. Making the change removed a reported 70 tonnes of freight from what has to be transported to each race and reduced the number of travelling staff by 36%.

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