Mercedes targets net carbon zero by end of 2020 as Hamilton hints at electric F1 future

Reigning Formula One champions Mercedes has announced that the team is aiming for a net-zero carbon footprint by the end of 2020.

Having recently impressed the paddock with its innovative DAS (Dual Axis Steering) system, the team is again looking to be a leader in the future of technology by increasing the use of renewable energy at their Brixworth and Brackley plants in an effort to ‘halve its CO2 emissions – from around 20,000 tonnes in 2018 to 10,000 in 2022’.

“Sustainability is very important to me personally,” commented Mercedes’ six-time champion Lewis Hamilton on the team’s website. “I’ve become more and more aware of the environmental issues we’re facing around the globe and I just want to have a positive impact and try to play my part in it.

“I’ve changed the way I travel and started offsetting my flights, and I’ve started to drive both plug-in hybrids and all-electric Mercedes vehicles,” he added. “I’ve also put sustainability at the heart of other ventures I’m involved in, such as my new clothing collection with Tommy Hilfiger. It’s great to see that Mercedes is taking responsibility for sustainability and that the entire Mercedes family is making huge efforts to tackle the issue; I hope I can make a meaningful contribution to that transformation as well.”

This season, Mercedes is participating in the ABB Formula E Championship for the first time with its EQ Formula E Team, joining fellow German automotive giants Porsche.

And Hamilton even hinted that it could be inevitable that F1 will follow the lead of its all-electric sister in the years to come.

“We’ve gone from a V8, [and] we now use a third less fuel than before,” added Hamilton. “The developments that are coming in the future are going to be really, really interesting. If F1 will be ‘FE1’ at some stage? Probably not in my racing career. But beyond, for sure, I think it’s got a really bright future.”

Formula E driver Nyck de Vries added that there was an important synergy between both of the manufacturer’s open wheel teams in the driver for a more sustainable world.

“Formula E is a platform to showcase the performance of fully electric race cars and it’s great that Mercedes is taking ambitious steps to look at sustainability in motorsport in a holistic way,” added de Vries. “We are at the forefront of technology and we want to be at the forefront of sustainability as well. While our races are broadcast around the world, it’s important that we don’t just look at them, but also take the wider operation into account. It’s great to see the efforts that are being made at our hubs in Brixworth and Brackley, which benefit our Mercedes teams in both Formula 1 and Formula E.”

Team Principal Toto Wolff added, “We represent the three-pointed star on the racetrack, and we want our motorsport platforms to be a case study for the rapid and open-minded implementation of innovations for a more sustainable future.

“That goes from the hybrid and battery electric technology in our race cars, to our daily business practice at the racetrack and in our production facilities. We want to be at the forefront of this change.”

Fraser Masefield

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.