By this tipping point of our evolution, most car companies are accepting the obvious (though W. is still holding out for one more conclusive study to come in from a friend of his dad’s). With the environment scaring people into an apocalyptic frenzy, it’s safe to say all the big car companies in the world are spending at least some money on going green. Odds are most of these budgets are spent on green-themed advertising and PR (heck, even old gas guzzling, world-polluting giants like Chevy and Ford have had to at least look like they’re making an effort). But now, with big changes in the Formula 1 racing world forcing the issue, the PR and marketing budgets may shrink in comparison to the actual research and development of green technology for the singular purpose of the automotive equivalent of the American dream: speed.
Put away your creeping Prius, Formula 1 is going green. The sport’s ruling body has officially banned further investment in F1 engines, instituting a 10-year “total freeze” on engine development. From now on, teams must focus on hybrid systems and other green means of producing power. In Formula 1, power will always — first and foremost — be measured in quantity of the hoofed variety. Horses matter, be they fed by oil or oats. Going green won’t change that. What it will change is the means of production by which to reach that necessary power. Formula 1 will find a way to keep going fast.
Ubiquitously influencing automotive ingenuity, F1 has always led the way in research and development, most of which makes its way into mainstream automotive practice. F1 innovations such as fuel injection, traction control and semi-automatic transmissions, all found their way onto the salesroom floor. These innovations don’t come cheap, as many car companies spend upwards of 200 million dollars a year on making their Formula 1 cars go faster. That money will now go into developing technologies with real-world applications. Real save-the-world applications.
Green means go. Now green means Go Faster. Faster is everything for a society such as ours, where performance, even performance most will never be able to legally test, is far more important than any other factor (like the continuance of our world’s natural resources for example). Now, thanks to very forward thinking from Formula 1, going fast won’t need to be sacrificed to go forward.