A switch from diesel to biofuel significantly reduced the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 team's freight carbon emissions in a new test. The team made the switch for the final three European races of this season, using locally sourced hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO)—made from food waste like fryer oil—to run 16 heavy trucks as they hauled the team between grand prix in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy.
Over a distance of 870 miles (1,400 km), it says the use of HVO resulted in less carbon emissions—44,091 kg less to be specific, which is a decrease of 89 percent compared to normal fossil fuel diesel.
A push for greater fuel efficiency in Formula 1 has resulted in some fairly remarkable engineering. A current F1 powertrain is as complex as the sport has ever seen, combining comparatively tiny but extraordinarily efficient V6 gasoline engines with hybrid systems that recover energy under braking and from the turbocharger spinning.
This is something that everyone involved is rightly proud of, but in terms of reducing the sport's carbon emissions, the fuel burned by the race cars is frankly irrelevant. F1 measures fuel by weight, and each car is allowed 220.5 lbs (100 kg) for the race. Being extremely generous, we can triple that to account for three hours of practice sessions plus qualifying, but that's still only 661 lbs (300 kg) per car, of which there are 20, and this year they'll race 23 times in total.