Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Cost cap tweak opens door for Mercedes biofuel switch for F1 trucks

Tweaks to Formula 1's cost cap rules have opened the door for Mercedes to commit to running its race trucks on biofuel this year.

Mercedes truck

Mercedes AMG

The German manufacturer trialled using biofuel for its transporters at last year's Belgian, Dutch and Italian Grands Prix triple-header to see if it was feasible to use more sustainable fuel.

That experiment proved a success, reducing emissions by 89% compared to using normal fossil fuel.

However, the issue of the cost cap proved to be a hurdle in Mercedes committing to using the more environmentally friendly fuel for a full European season.

Biofuel costs are higher and, under the original cost cap rules, fuel costs for taking transporters to races had to come out of the team's annual budget.

That, in theory, meant that a switch to biofuel would have had knock-on consequences in terms of resources left for car development.

However, following discussions at the Formula 1 Commission earlier this year, a raft of sustainability initiatives were introduced to encourage teams to take more environmentally friendly options without facing a disadvantage.

It was agreed that, from now on, the costs of biofuel purchased for use in F1's company cars, race transporters and generators will be outside the cost cap.

This means that teams wishing to use more sustainable fuel can commit to the more expensive products without having to worry that it will have to come out of the budget they would rather be spending on car development.

Mercedes truck

Mercedes truck

Photo by: Mercedes AMG

Mercedes, in partnership with its title sponsor Petronas, now plans to power its entire road transport operations for the nine European F1 events – including the cancelled Emilia Romagna Grand Prix where the trucks had travelled to - on biofuel. The total distance travelled will be around 10,000 kilometres per truck.

Read Also:

While Mercedes hopes that the entire operations can be completed on biofuel, it knows that there are certain regions where it may not be possible to find the necessary products so it may be forced to use regular fossil fuels.

As well as the Mercedes trucks being powered by biofuel, all Mercedes generators used at race tracks will also utilise the same product.

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff said: "Motor racing is fuelled by passion and we have a responsibility to use Formula 1's global platform to be more than leaders; we want to be pioneers.

"Delivering an 89% reduction in emissions for every kilometre that our trucks travel this summer would be a real achievement for the combined efforts of the Team, Petronas and our logistical partners who have worked so hard on this innovative and challenging project."

The cost cap revision

As well as the biofuel exemption, F1's latest cost cap rules have included several other initiatives to encourage sustainability.

Team travel by rail has now been added to costs that no longer have to be included in the cap, as has the expense of buying up to 50 fully electric or hydrogen-powered company cars.

The costs of sustainable aviation fuel, purchased to offset carbon emissions for travel of races and tests, have also been exempted, as have optional environmentally friendly logistical options that F1's commercial rights holder may make available.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Steiner: Ferrari F1 parts make Haas concept change difficult
Next article Why the growing pains of F1’s cost-cap era require patience

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe