Yuki Tsunoda pit board supporting Emilia-Romagna, AlphaTauri, Monaco, 2023

F1 teams making sustainability push after “reminder climate change is very real”

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Formula 1 teams say they are taking the need to reduce their carbon footprint seriously after severe flooding in Italy forced the cancellation of the last round of the world championship.

The Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix was called off two days before practice was due to start as floodwaters from the nearby Santerno river encroached upon the Imola paddock. The region saw almost twice the average rain volume for one month fall within a 24-hour period in some cities, in the second huge storm in three weeks.

F1 announced its first sustainability strategy in 2019. It includes a target to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said the sport is “taking sustainability hugely seriously with an awful lot of individual activities going on between the different teams and collectively as a group.”

He said the extent of the flooding seen in Emilia-Romagna was a shock. “That, effectively, is an act of God – I don’t think the region had seen floods like that in decades.

‘The region hadn’t seen floods like that in decades’ – Horner
“It was shocking for us to see the effect that it was having and absolutely the right decision was made to cancel the event because it was horrifying to see how much it was affecting the local area.”

Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri, is based in the city of Faenza in Emilia-Romagna. “Many employees of theirs were directly affected by the events,” said Horner. “So yes, horrible to see and another reminder that climate change is very real.”

AlphaTauri is one of three teams with personnel in the area. Haas has a group of engineers working at Ferrari’s base in Maranello. “Some of our people were affected,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner, “then you just realise what is happening.

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“But the good thing is going forward we are looking after it. Should we have done something 20 years ago? Sure, sitting here now, we should say yes. But I think it’s never too late.

F1 logo in rain
Feature: The first Formula 1 race cancelled by climate change is unlikely to be the last
“Formula 1 started very well a few years ago and a lot of teams contributed to making things better. And I think we’ll get to where we want to get. The plans, we have said I think everybody’s working towards them.”

Teams discussed the sport’s efforts to improve its sustainability during the most recent meeting of the F1 Commission. Williams team principal James Vowles said there has been a noticeable change in how seriously they take the matter in recent years.

“In the last F1 Commission, a significant chunk of it was spent on our side talking about sustainability and the investment we all want to make as teams in a sustainable environment, which includes, potentially solar panel farms elsewhere.

“At the moment, if you compare to just three years ago, I would say, teams are completely aware now that we have a responsibility on our shoulders as well. To the extent that you’re talking about in understanding how the environment then changes what we’re doing in terms of racing, Formula 1 have a good vision on what the medium and long-term looks like and their analysis we trust to a certain extent.

“But the main thing I would suggest is the pathway we are on is one where we are recognising, at least, that environment around us and the sensibility changes. And as I said this is not small amounts of money that teams are talking about investing in this direction now.”

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Following the race’s cancellation, AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda joined in efforts to help clear up the damage in Faenza.

AlphaTauri are carrying a message of support this weekend
“We had a massive storm overnight, I would say consistently for three days and most of the town where I live in Faenza was just completely flooded. Just mud everywhere, covered by mud, 70% or more than that probably. I was just staying safe in the night when the rain was coming but I was also worried because consistently also the electricity got shut down in my house as well. So I was a bit worried, but luckily my house was OK.

But at the same time, a day after when I went to town there was just completely mud everywhere. There was water up to two or three metres. Ground floor properties were covered by mud and water. So it’s really a huge impact on us and really terrible, terrible nights.”

Tsunoda said the severity of the flooding took him by surprise and he feared his home would be damaged by the huge volumes of water that fell and the mud they collected.

“I saw [things like this] only maybe on TV and never expected the things like that, that horrible things will actually happen in front of me. But suddenly it happened in front of me, just this completely different feeling to what I was watching TV, just so scared.

“[I was] just consistently having to worry about the ground floor. Luckily, I have the second floor so I was staying on the second floor all the time. Helicopters were also flying around and I could tell that they were already starting to help the people from the houses, people who already got flooded. It was just consistent noise happening around. It was very scary.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “F1 teams making sustainability push after “reminder climate change is very real””

  1. Another one of these articles eh?
    Sorry. They are into sustainability purely because it may be exempt from the cost cap and they can market performance upgrades as sustainability projects. It was a flood. They’ve been around longer than humans.

  2. Italy flooded in 1966 – twice. Again in 2009 – 2013 and 2017. And many times before this.
    Weather is cyclic. They have had floods there before and they will have them again in the future whether F1 is carbon neutral or not. This is not climate change, it is simply the way weather cycles.

    1. I think you mixed up your opinion with a fact. Also, reading your post, I don’t think you actually know how weather, weather patterns and climate work. That’s ok. It’s just that it means that your opinion has little value on the subject.

  3. @above:
    Rip into the spin F1 and teams might give this and the sense and nonsense of whatever they come up with, fine, seems fair to me. But don’t spread ‘climate change denial’ please. It is happening and refusing to accept the facts at this point is nothing else but silly

    1. @baasbas Climate change is indeed happening, but it’s natural as evidenced by hundreds of tide gauges around the planet, no visible signal corresponding to the admittedly large proportional increase in the trace gas CO2 [only c.0.04%].

      The time constant for the planet average temperature is clearly centuries long and gives rise to these long term swings in temperature, eg Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and many others stretching back eons.
      CAGW is a handy myth used by all sorts who want to hobble the advancement of a healthy living standard for all on the planet, linked as it is to plentiful and affordable energy.

      PS, you don’t win people over by calling them names..

      1. @frasier
        I know you don’t win over people by calling them names. For the record, I didn’t. But none of that matters because everyone is entrenched in their beliefs anyway.

        Calling out half thruths is just as bad. Yes, climate has changed naturally over time but denying climate change and not denying it but claiming it is natural are both just as bad. And wrong. And the evidence vastly overwhelms sources claiming otherwise.

        I did expect a not-so-average point of view on a motorsport forum. But being the only one accepting reality is slightly disappointing

        1. @baasbaas Not many people here seem to agree with you politically correct beliefs. So we are all just silly and you are the only smart one here? Keep dreaming Oh gullible one.

          1. @Patrick
            Thankfully a majority in this obscure niche of the internet does not mean a majority in general. Call me a sheep, fine.

            But tell me this, are you a climate scientist? My guess is no. Neither am I. So we’re just 2 laymen who need to rely on others, make up our minds on other sources. And I find it astounding how after whatever research we laymen can do, that is the thruth you choose to believe. Or is it a truth that happens to fit you best since that would mean you don’t have to change anything?

          2. @baasbas I give you the evidence of the tide gauges that collect all the melted ice and register the expansion of warmer water, actual data, see

            http://sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=8518750 plus hundreds of others at


            In return you give me an appeal to authority, government sponsored scientists. Do you not recognise that empirical evidence trumps models and guesstimated urban heat island corrections? Especially when they are motivated by the desire to manipulate through fear and score big money like Al Gore has done.

            Take a moment to review the tide gauge numbers, others with long term pre-industrial data include Newlyn and North Shields, there are quite a few to choose from, all telling the same story, CO2 is not influencing sea level. Consider how this invalidates all the alarmism, educate yourself from first principles, that’s proper science.

          3. @frasier
            Don’t even bother. It has been debunked numerous times. Just repeating the drivel doesn’t make it true. I’m usually very nuanced in my opinions but you can’t have a discussion if you choose alternative facts to believe. At this point it is nearing flat earth theory levels and spreading the idea is damaging to us all. That’s why I’m so dismissive in my comments. I just hope you’ll see that one day. To me it is weird I look like an environmentalist from this.

    2. Climate Change always happened. That is why Climate Change expression is Anti Science. It is a political expression.
      I am still waiting for Climate Change defenders explain scientifically the extreme megadrought of 1540 that devastated Europe.

      1. Climate change doesn’t explain the 1540 megadrought. Climate change doesn’t describe any single event. It describes the apparent increase in frequency of extreme weather events experienced over the last couple of decades, compared to records from history.

      2. Is this your crocoduck?

    3. The floods this year are nothing compared to 1966. Over 100 people died then This time less than 20 people perished (not making light of it) So yes climate change is real, IT IS GETTING BETTER!

    4. @baasbaas What you believe is true (to you at least) but don’t miss out on the opportunity of ramming your narrow beliefs down other people’s throats.

  4. I believe the weather changes are dure to the increased sunspot activity. We justbgot through an unprecedented time where there was No sunspots for several years. Last year we had major sunspot activity and now we are seeing increased rains in northern hemisphere. The sunspots spew particles at the earth and increase the thickness of the upper atmosphere, changing the weather patterns.

    Read the book, . Inconvenient Facts

    But one cannot tax sunspots.

    CO2 is plant food and is responsible for greening up the earth, that is all.

    1. There’s plenty of CO2 on Venus. How are the plants going there?

    2. It’s possible, but you can’t control sun spots. But you can control other things like how much oil we use. And if we find that nothing changes after we exhausted all human possibilities and have no choice but to look at external reasons like sun spots, we all can move on. No matter how you look at it, trying to figure it out and possibly be wrong is better than doing nothing and talk about it.

  5. Ridiculous brainwashing.
    Vivaldi has in his celebrated 4 Seasons in Summer a Storm movement.
    That was composed in XVIII Century. Why is that?

    I guess 4 Seasons are now at risk of censorship. It goes against the Official Truth.

  6. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    27th May 2023, 14:17

    I’m looking forward to Pirelli renaming their wet weather tyre the climate change tyre. That should sort it.

  7. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    27th May 2023, 14:18

    I also think getting rid of the sprint races will save at least 8 polar bears.

  8. Climate change is the biggest obstacle for F1 in both the near and distant future.

    Do you think that those who have commented so far actually believe this oil industry propaganda they are parroting? are they brain dead? Russian bots? cognitive dissonance? the writing is on the wall. they might as well be saying “sky is red”. Probably too much time on the internet only consuming information that supports their existing flawed beliefs and assumptions.

  9. Wow, astonishing how many people come here to spout their belief in disinformation and to deny the reality. Thanks @baasbas for putting in a voice of normalcy above.

    1. @bascb please review my replies to baasbas, far from denying anything they show actual data, unlike those who listen to evidence-free propaganda and obediently regurgitate it.

      1. @frasier
        Come off it. All you did was post a single data point, took it out of context and made your narrative on that. Discrediting all scientist who oppose the thought by making a sweeping statement they’re “government funded”. And therefore they must all be wrong

        1. Baasbas, all you’ve done is give me a couple of rants whilst I’ve given you hundreds of tide gauge records dating back 150 years that disprove CO2 warming. Time you stopped believing the propaganda and learnt some proper science

    2. It’s sad and kinda scary. Pretend for a moment that the idea of human induced climate change isn’t real and it’s all a conspiracy. Who benefits? I work in the environmental space and I’m sure as hell not getting ahead. In fact, we’re trying to work out how to adapt to climate change cause we’re already seeing the impacts. You won’t see it on the internet but you sure do out in the field. Simple things like spring germinating annual weeds appearing in autumn or endangered species failing to flower when their pollinators are active. It’s disheartening to see the attitudes on here when there’s so much at stake. Be part of the solution, not the problem.

      1. Yeah, there really are so many signs how far we already are on the path of the climate changing, becoming less predictable, more unstable, animals and plants reacting to what we have now, and we already know things are going to get worse, even if we do as much as we can to prevent even worse scenarios @tommy-c.

        We have to adapt, prepare for misalignments between plants and pollinators etc. as well as changing what crops do well where, shifts of habitat for animals, for insects and for plants. And off course what is coming to all coastal areas.

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