The second annual Sustainable Championships Index has been released and you get the details on who leads the pack and how you can download your copy this week. You will also find out how the Pau Grand Prix plans to reboot for a more sustainable event in 2025, why a hydrogen combustion engine may come to tracks sooner than you think and how Porsche is embracing sustainability in their motorsport activities.
All this and much more in this week’s edition of the Sustainable Motorsport Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Your source for sustainable high performance motorsport news.
Sustainable Motorsport News
The second annual Sustainable Championships Index was released last week and it reveals motorsport winners in the race towards sustainability. Formula E takes the top spot for the third year running, with Formula One finishing in second position and MotoGP and Extreme E tying for third place. You can download the report here.
Details of the Methodology and Purpose of the Report
We are delighted to announce the launch of the third edition of the Sustainable Championships Index revealing the latest results in the motorsport’s sustainability journey.
The Index is the only global performance Index that measures and reports on the sustainability practices in two and four wheeled motorsports against the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and the ESG framework.
Established in 2020 by Dr. Cristiana Pace, founder of Enovation Consulting – an independent B Corp-certified sport consulting agency – and Prof. Paolo Taticchi of the UCL School of Management, the Sustainable Motorsport IndexTM (SMITM) is a collection of indices that reviews, assesses and reports on sustainability-related public disclosures made by two- and four-wheel motorsport organisations. The SMITM utilises quantitative data collection and analysis, and a proprietary algorithm to produce an independently reviewed ranking of motorsport championships’ and circuits’ annual sustainability performances.
Find out how two and four wheeled motorsports are accelerating their programmes, initiative and actions in a bid to become increasingly sustainable, and who ranks top of the Index.
The Sustainable Motorsport Index™ is the only global performance system assessing Motorsport stakeholders’ sustainability against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) framework.
We use carefully calibrated indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparison across five broad areas: environment, social, governance, sustainability approach and engagement, international and industry specific accreditations and awards.
Our team includes industry experts, subject experts and well-known academics to ensure transparency and robustness.Racing towards a sustainable future:
a review of the disclosed sustainability credentials of 106 global two and four-wheeled motorsport championships. (January 2024 edition)
In a wide-ranging interview in BlackBook Motorsport, Director of Motorsport sales at Porsche Motorsport Michael Dreiser explains the importance of sustainability to the manufacturer.
Ecological sustainability is something we all need to consider as much as possible. Motorsport will play an important role here. In certain areas, positive developments are already on their way. It will not happen overnight, but it is important to constantly keep working on improving in that area.
Being one of the bigger players in motorsport, I do think that we also have a certain responsibility. One big step is to have the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup powered exclusively by nearly CO2-neutral fuel from the Chilean eFuels pilot plant ‘Haru Oni’ from this season.
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup plays a vital role as we try to establish new standards, which then usually get adopted by the Carrera Cups, Challenges and Trophies.Porsche’s Michael Dreiser on the one-make series, Formula E, and why F1 “remains interesting”
The Pau Grand Prix has been canceled for 2024 but it should return in 2025 with a greater emphasis on sustainability according to Formula Scout.
“So from this point of view we’re going to try to rework the idea of an evolution of the Pau GP,” said Pau’s mayor Francois Bayrou, referencing how historic motorsport events such as the Goodwood Revival have evolved to be more sustainable. “[This] year we organized the grand prix with a large part using green fuels, various fuels, biofuels and electricity, all of which naturally offers a way which allows us to respect at the same time the heritage side of the grand prix and the particular sensitivity of current generations.”
Eric Saubatte, Pau’s deputy mayor in charge of Sports reckons totally decarbonizing the event (which would rule out many series, like occurred with Euroformula) will be key to attracting financial backing, and the organisers are already “regrouping our strengths” for 2025. “The Pau GP is not dead, the institution of the grand prix is very much alive and we’re turning to the future.”
In 2013, the FIM launched a significant project to promote environmental communication and awareness. They recruited a team of athletes from various cultures, genders and motorcycling disciplines who shared the FIM’s values. Part of this initiative is the video by FIM Ride Green Ambassador Adrien Van Beveren called “I Am A Child of the Earth” which you can watch above.
“We are honored to present a video that depicts the life of Adrien Van Beveren. From a young age, Adrien was a tireless fighter for his goals, describing himself as “a child of the earth”. Growing up in the north of France on his family’s farm with its animals and crops has heightened his sensitivity towards preserving the environment. This video tells a part of Adrien’s life story.”
The FIA has released details of its participation at COP28, where it represented the world of motorsport as an observer at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This marked an important step toward integrating sports and mobility into the global conversation on climate change. The FIA says that it actively engaged in various initiatives throughout the event, emphasizing the role of motorsport in combating climate change and promoting sustainability.
You can find more details here.
Who says sustainable motorsport can’t be fun? Check out Nissan’s very creative commercial where they apologize to local residents of the Mexican Formula E race track for the wild noisiness of their fans.
Sustainable Motorsport Tech
AVL RACETECH’s first race-specific hydrogen combustion engine will be on track “earlier than you may think” with Le Mans 2027 hinted at.
“The overall strategy for AVL RACETECH is paving the way for sustainable motorsport because this is where everybody has to go,” said director of motorsport, Ellen Lohr. “Our goal is, being in the front row of development with our H2 ICE engine, and making sustainable motorsport affordable for smaller race classes, which are the fundamental to our sport.”
We keep hearing about how Hydrogen could possibly be the future of modern race engines, but AVL Racetech is pushing its engineering expertise by building its own H2 Hydrogen Race Engine. Autosport took a trip to their HQ in Graz, Austria, to test their engine on the dyno to see just how much power it can produce, how efficiently it can run, and just how difficult it is to build a Hydrogen engine for race cars. You can watch the details in the video above and here is the video timeline:
- 0:00 Hydrogen Power
- 0:36 The Engine Construction
- 2:51 Hydrogen Difficulties
- 4:00 Pushing the Engine on the Dyno
- 6:11 The Engine’s “Father”
- 9:56 AVL’s Goals for the Hydrogen Engine
Clean Technica looks into the rumors of a Porsche hydrogen fuel cell car.
“Sure enough, in August of 2022 Porsche presented the results of a study indicating the feasibility of deploying hydrogen in a combustion engine. The study, conducted by the company’s Porsche Engineering Group, was aimed at developing a hydrogen combustion engine that “aims to match the power and torque of current high-performance gasoline engines,” while also conserving fuel and cutting emissions down to the level of ambient air.”
Ahead of the first race of the season in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship, the multi-Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt drove the revolutionary Formula E GENBETA electric race car on a full lap of the track where the 2024 Hankook Mexico City E-Prix was held.
“Introduced last season, the GEN3 is the fastest, lightest, most powerful and efficient electric race car ever built. With a top speed of more than 322 km/h (200 mph), the GEN3 is used by the 11 teams and 22 drivers in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.”
In the video above, Karun Chandhok shows Motorsport UK TV round the new MightE Bambino Kart powertrain, the official electric powertrain supplier for the Motorsport UK Bambino Owner Driver Karting category, which will debut in 2024.
A lot of news this week as Formula E completes their season opener in Mexico. The first two are in regards to the upcoming Gen4 Formula E race car scheduled to begin racing in 2026-27.
Lucas di Grassi outlines what he thinks should be the target for the Gen4 Formula E race car. “In a nutshell of performance, I would have put on the requirements for Gen4 that it can race on the full Macau Guia Circuit, and for at least one lap in qualifying be faster than Formula 3 and GT3 cars. That for me would be a great indicator that we’ve gone in the right direction.”
With the clicks attracting headline Formula E Gen4 Will Be ‘Game Over’ For Formula One, James Morris at Forbes explains what a game changer the Gen4 race could be.
“While Gen4 might seem like the development that puts the final nail in the coffin for Formula One’s dominance as the king of circuit racing, Filippi reckons the Gen3 car could already compete against F1, with a different setup. “It’s all about the downforce,” he says. “Today we can make an electric motor that can beat a Formula One engine in acceleration, and even deliver the same high speeds. However, so much of lap times come from downforce. Formula E also runs tires that are half road, half racing.” If Formula E cars ran slicks, they would get close to Formula 1 lap times already. “The weight is the same already, and with the same aero and grip it would be similarly quick.””
Buckle up for a deep dive into the fascinating world of Formula E in the video above as the FIA explore the technical marvels, energy strategies, and data wizardry that make the Formula E racing series the “epitome of innovation.”
“In this new episode of FIA Insights, we unveil technical aspects of the race, shedding light on how is provided components for cars to limit costs and focus on road-relevant Powertrain technology. We also explore the heart of Formula E – the battery and energy management. Through interviews with key players like Sacha Fenestraz, and Lucas Di Grassi, discover how the series regenerates power, contributing to nearly 50% of race energy. Learn about the different phases of an FE race and how teams manage this energy for optimal performance.”
Formula E is set to have a manufacturers’ world championship in addition to the drivers’ and teams’ titles next season. “The Race has discovered that a process is already under way and there is cross-party agreement to introduce a third title race, which should be ratified officially later this year.”
Meanwhile, in-race EV fast charging is slated for its Formula E debut in April. “Exactly 10 years later, Formula E will be flaunting an advanced EV technology that allows a 30-second charge in the pits during the race to give the batteries 4 kWh of energy boost for the final stage of a race. It’s called Attack Charge will unlock the already popular Attack Mode that gives the car a temporary 350 kW jolt. Cars race otherwise at 300 kW.”
Finally, Formula E leads in Global Sustainability Benchmark in Sport (GSBS) for the second consecutive year, retains lead in Sustainable Championships Index (SChI™) as mentioned above and the Sustainable Motorsport Index (SMI) both for third year.
Extreme E has announced that the 2024 season will be the last with its current cars as it transitions to the hydrogen-powered Extreme H car in 2025. “It’s a different car, different championship, same format. And Extreme E as it is, will stop.”
Formula 1’s partnership with Extreme H over the possibility of using hydrogen at some point in the future has even reached Sports Illustrated’s Fan Nation. “In an era where environmental sustainability and technological innovation are paramount, the FIA’s head of single-seaters, Nikolas Tombazis, has provided insightful commentary on the future of Formula 1, particularly regarding its power units. As Formula 1 prepares for a significant shift in regulations in 2026, he has hinted at an interest in hydrogen power.”