Specialist Criticizes F1 for Climate ‘Greenwashing’

An expert specializing in urban mobility has raised concerns about F1’s genuine commitment to addressing climate change.

The sport has publicly declared its intention to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 and has planned to shift to entirely synthetic fuel starting in 2026.

“Formula 1 sees that it has to act on climate protection, but it only does so superficially,” said Benjamin Stephan, a political scientist working with Greenpeace, in a conversation with DPA.

“If Formula 1 doesn’t just want to use sustainability as a fig leaf, it has to rethink the carbon footprint of the entire racing circuit. It should be more regionalised instead of holding 24 races and flying masses of people and material around the world, as in the coming year,” he further stated.

Formula 1 has integrated hybrid engines since 2014, and from 2026, the electrical components will share equal importance with the internal combustion engine.

However, Stephan is skeptical, stating, “Formula 1 technologies don’t get us any further in the mobility revolution, and that sends the wrong message.”

“So far, the Formula 1 projects have only been of a cosmetic nature for me and are not much more than greenwashing,” he continued.

“Combustion engines, even if they become a bit more efficient in Formula 1, are out of date. Synthetic and biofuels are not a solution because they are inefficient and too expensive,” the Greenpeace representative concluded.

“In the current transformation, Formula 1 is decoupling itself from the rest of the world.”