When thinking about Formula 1, the last thing that would come to our mind is Green. With high power engines achieving high speeds and racing all over the world, it sounds more like the antithesis of green. Infact, Formula 1 carbon emissions emitted directly from races and testing represent less than 0.3% of the total carbon footprint. The highest amount of CO2 emissions come actually from two sources: moving the cars and the equipment required for the races around the globe, and the research and manufacturing facilities that drive each F1 team.
In this sense, F1 teams are considering to reduce their carbon footprint. For example, McLaren F1 team announced on December 2011 that they are carbon neutral. According to a study, F1 teams have reduced their carbon footprint by 7% between 2009 and 2011. But is it just an altruist decision that drives this reduction? And how is this related to IT?
The Renault "Technocentre"
The Renault F1 team actually looked into its IT department in order to be a champion in its green initiatives. More than moved by altruistic interest, it was done as a cost saving initiative. When Renault needed a new data center in 2007, they actually implemented a new architecture infrastructure using optimization and virtualization that was 25% more energy efficient that the previously used "Forced air" cooling models.
At the same time, they started changing their policies; instead of flying people from one factory to another, they acquired video conferencing technology that allowed people to communicate as effectively without the actual physical movement. Finally, they managed to replace wind testing tunnels, with virtual simulations, that allowed for a 25% reduction in energy consumption.
|McLaren F1 fleet|
In the case of the McLaren team, they installed monitoring devices in their fleet, which allowed them to monitor the driving efficiency, training their drivers and changing their routes in order to reduce carbon emissions and save on fuel.
In this sense, Formula 1 teams are taking advantage of Green IT technologies in order to become more competitive from a cost saving perspective.