McLaren strive for efficiency

McLaren may have struggled in Red Bull's wake last season - but they have nonetheless stolen a march as F1's first carbon-neutral team.

All smiles before the weekend's action.

At the team's McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, where the MP4-27 car Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will race next year is currently taking shape, a series of efficiency-driven measures have been undertaken to make annual savings of more than 1500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

But as McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale explained, striving for efficiency can give them a very real advantage during a grand prix weekend.

"It's a myth to think that Formula 1 cars are just rushing round as gas guzzlers," he told Sky Sports News. "We are very interested in weight and fuel efficiency. Any amount of weight or fuel we're carrying for any amount of time is just loss of lap time."

Attempts to improve the efficiency of F1 cars - the engines of which are already about 20 per cent more efficient than that of a small road car - have taken on a greater importance since refuelling was banned at the end of 2009.

"It's entirely commensurate - the fact that we are having to carry all of the fuel for the race from the start," Neale added.

"Ten kilos of weight is about three-tenths of a second in lap time. We don't want to carry that 10 kilos for an hour and a half, so we work very closely with (engine partner) Mercedes-Benz on energy efficiency and fuel efficiency of the car itself."

Away from the sharp end of the racing business, McLaren also monitor the efficiency of the trucks they use to take equipment to and from races.

As many as 23 trucks are used during the European season and each records telemetry in an effort to ensure it is driven in the most efficient manner possible.

Although McLaren say they have improved their carbon efficiency by 8.6 per cent, they initially needed to purchase carbon credits in order to officially become fully carbon-neutral.

However, after investigating a number of potential carbon-offsetting schemes, they are now backing two hydro-electric projects in India and Brazil.

comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update