Mercedes taking ‘bold action’ on unique quest as team aim for milestone F1 2024 target

Thomas Maher
Mercedes F1 logo, team truck, 2023 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Mercedes has set itself a new target in its sustainability push over the 2024 F1 season.

Mercedes has stepped up its use of sustainable fuel for the 2024 F1 season, further reducing its carbon emissions at the racetrack.

Having introduced the use of sustainable biofuels to its team trucks for the final three European races of the 2022 season, Mercedes has steadily increased the use of the fuels across its trackside operations – and 2024 will see the team achieve a fully bio-fuelled European season.

Mercedes step up use of biofuel for F1 2024 season

As part of the push to become carbon net zero by 2030, Mercedes has underlined its commitment to achieving this by introducing measures to reduce its race team-controlled emissions.

Working closely with fuel supplier Petronas and its logistics partners, Mercedes will extend its use of HVO100 biofuel across its race team operations this summer with plans to build upon its 67 percent emissions savings from 2023.

The Mercedes Actros trucks that haul the team’s trailers and equipment around Europe will refuel with HV0100. With each truck covering between nine and 10 thousand kilometres during the summer, the estimated saving is some 90 percent of CO2e for every kilometre driven when compared to standard diesel.

In 2023, the trucks covered a total distance of 386,000 kilometres and the team reported a carbon reduction of 339 tonnes of CO2e compared to diesel.

As well as in the trucks, the biofuel will be used across the team’s generators in use to power the trackside hospitality and engineering units, with the team motorhome powered exclusively on HV0100.

The full extent of its carbon emission savings will then be published at the end of the season, once the nine European races have been completed and the data is explored.

“Sustainable fuels powering our European season logistics are a key part of our transition plans helping the team and our sport move towards a Net Zero future,” Mercedes team boss and F1 CEO Toto Wolff said of the team’s efforts.

“We have increased our investment to deliver further efficiencies with the projected emissions reductions reflecting the combined efforts of the team, Petronas, and our logistics partners.

“Fuel innovation sits at the heart of the changes coming to our sport in 2026 and I am proud to lead a team so committed to driving sustainable change.”

With Mercedes taking F1’s goal of becoming carbon net zero by 2030 very seriously, the team’s head of sustainability Alice Ashpitel said the key to achieving its targets is in examining every facet of how the team goes about the racing calendar to identify opportunities to reduce its carbon footprint.

“We aim to be as sustainable as we can in every area of our operations, looking for efficiencies in every aspect of our performance, including the ways we transport the team’s freight and how we power our operations on track,” she said.

“With the ambition of a fully biofueled season in line with our Net Zero commitments, we continue to use data to drive our learning which has enabled us to increase our savings year on year and modify our operations as we learn more about supply and infrastructure variations across the continent and multiple geographies in play.”

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HVO100 is a hydrotreated vegetable oil fuel, made from 100 percent sustainably sourced renewable raw materials like waste oils and fats.

The use of such fuels will need to quadruple by 2030 in order to reach Net Zero targets, with Mercedes playing its part by using the fuel for its road transport.

In 2022, Mercedes also revealed its investment into Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) in its bid to further reduce logistics-based carbon emissions with its air transport requirements.

These efforts coincide with F1’s own efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, with the sport moving to utilise fully sustainable fuels in the new power units which will be rolled out in 2026.

“In addition to working on delivering sustainable fuel for the Formula 1 cars by 2026, we continue to progress in our efforts to reduce the carbon footprint within other parts of the motorsport ecosystem, including travel and logistics,” said Datuk Sazali Hamzah, CEO of Petronas Downstream.

“Though these segments of the industry may not be visible to the fans, they demand concerted efforts in reducing emissions.”

“Building on last year’s achievements, we are now expanding the use of HVO100, which represents one of the most feasible solutions and many collaborative efforts to come in powering motorsport closer towards Net Zero whilst showcasing the potential of biofuels to the world’s transportation sector.

“Like all industries, we have much to learn. But as pioneers on the racetrack, we can now apply approaches that have driven performance on the track, such as data-driven learning and continuous feedback loops, to help us improve our own environmental footprint and to share best practices, supporting and inspiring others to adopt similar practices.”

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