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Toto Wolff

F1 must be 'a role model' in fight against climate change

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes Formula 1 must do its best to showcase its technology as global warming begins to impact the calendar.

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After the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was called off due to heavy flooding and threats over the Canadian Grand Prix loomed due to the wildfires in Quebec, Formula 1's calendar has come under strain at a time when climate change becomes part of the global agenda.

The FIA has already pledged that all of its World Championships must be carbon neutral by 2030, with carbon action plans also in place by 2025. Then, from 2026, F1 will also make the switch to sustainable synthetic fuels, with each car already running on E10 – a blend of 90% fuel and 10% renewable fuel.

Even though the governing body, F1, and teams are doing as much as they can to reduce their carbon footprint, these cancellations and threats will no doubt throw up more questions over what more can be done.

Toto Wolff believes that Formula 1 should look towards the technology to help.

"I think we're seeing climate change is real. In F1 we need to use the technology that we're developing in terms of hybrid engines, sustainable fuel [and] reducing our emissions when travelling," Wolff told media, including RacingNews365.com.

Teams taking matters into their own hands

F1 arguably lost one of its biggest 'green advocates' when Sebastian Vettel retired last season. But that has not stopped teams from finding new ways to make a difference as they start to see the effects of not taking action.

Mercedes has already significantly managed to reduce its carbon emissions by utilising biofuels in 16 of their freight trucks, which transport gear, offices and hospitality units for the European races.

"Our trucks now run with sustainable diesel and we've reduced emissions by 90% for all European races," explained Wolff.

"We are paying up big amounts of money for sustainable aviation fuel when we transport goods and people, and that goes into the many millions that we invest."

Wolff: Mercedes trailblazing in green technology

Since the popularity of Drive to Survive, F1 has seen an influx of 'big tech' company sponsors, with Oracle and Google investing in teams on the grid. It has also led to investment from crypto currencies, whose 'green credentials' are questionable.

It was also the subject of a protest from the environmental activist group Just Stop Oil at last year's British GP, in which several protesters invaded the track at the start of the race and were later convicted by the police.

Wolff believes that F1 teams must be "a role model" in investing in green technologies in every area across their businesses, especially as many sponsors will be conscious about their green output.

"This is where we need to play the role model, and we hope that everybody will need to follow in F1 because you can't attract sponsors anymore – that have responsibility to emissions, to sustainability – without the team having a viable story," he said.

"We are trailblazing in this. I think we are investing the most far out investment [compared to] everybody else here on the grid. And I think this is the contribution we need to make."

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