Even though Formula One had made the switch to the hybrid cars years ago, people still see that F1 can make even more changes to become even more environmentally friendly and it’s “really quite simple to do” – according to Mike Baker.
Speaking to two students and a member of staff at Plymouth Marjon University I found out that it could be relatively easy to make big changes to F1 due to hugely influential athletes in the sport and the large fan base and following of certain drivers as well as the sport as a whole.
Bella, a first year Journalism student, said: “If they actively and consciously become more economically, eco-friendly and environmentally friendly then their followers will catch on to that and follow on as well.”
Formula 1 in fact had a huge 445 million following, globally, in 2021. With each viewer loving the sport and idolizing the drivers, it is clear to see that a change in the order and way the 20 drivers on the grid perform, would then turn into over 400 million people changing the way of their lives in order to protect the environment.
Mike Baker, lecturer of journalism at Marjon University, also added: “I think Formula 1 would like to see a change.” He continued to say: “If F1 was smart and it wanted those criticisms to go away, then it just needs to move around less between races which is really quite simple to do.”
It’s is true that F1 travels a lot from country to country in a very random order. For example, during the 2022 season the teams travelled from Saudi Arabia to Australia to Italy and then all the way to the USA, clocking up a huge number of air miles.
It is predicted that each team will travel at least 84,000 miles each to appear in every race. This number could be reduced by a lot if the calendar was rearranged so that all of the races are done continent by continent rather than going back and forth.
Finally, Jamie, another Marjon student spoke to me and said: “Someone like Lewis Hamilton could be the one to spark this off considering the work he currently does for environmental agencies.” (Referring to the calendar being changed to have a positive impact on the environment). He added “He’s the one with the biggest platform, the most followed driver, he could be the one to make this change.”
Seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton, does have a well-known record for being a big supporter of environmental conservation. With Mercedes (his team) claiming to have reduce their carbon footprint by 89% in recent years.
However, it is very apparent to people that there is much more he can do with his team to reduce this further. And with Sebastian Vettel, a fellow driver and supporter of environmental conservation, now retired, it does seem Hamilton needs to be the one to get the ball rolling in order for these changes to happen.