At a time when F1 chiefs have come under scrutiny over the 24-race calendar for 2023 flying around the world, Mercedes has shown how teams can take their own responsibility to help improve the environment.

The Brackley-based team decided to experiment with running 16 of its Formula 1 racing trucks on hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO 100) biofuel for three races after the summer break in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

It wanted to use three events, totaling 1,400 km, to get good information on the challenges and positives of switching from conventional diesel.

The team hopes that the lessons learned, especially in terms of supply in continental Europe, will help it move to using sustainable fuels as much as possible in 2023.

After successfully testing one truck back home from the Hungarian Grand Prix, Mercedes decided to run 16 of them for recent testing at the last three F1 events.

And all but 20 km of the 1,400 km were run on biofuel, and only due to the lack of the product in Italy, the last 20 km to Monza had to be run on diesel.

Analysis of the work showed that the use of HVO 100 biofuel saved a total of 44,091 kg of CO2, representing an 89 percent reduction in emissions.

Mercedes truck

Photo: Mercedes AMG

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said the truck experiment is an example of how his team is trying to reduce carbon emissions.

“Sustainable development is at the core of our activities,” he said. – Testing the use of biofuels for our ground freight transport is another example of our commitment to embedding sustainable development into every decision and action we take.

“We aim to be at the forefront of change and hope to enable the adoption of sustainable technologies as we all strive for a sustainable tomorrow.”

HVO 100 is a 100 percent renewable fossil fuel derived from vegetable oils, waste oils and fats. As well as reducing CO2 emissions, the fuel also produces less Nox and PM

The Mercedes F1 team aims to become Net Zero by 2030 and has already become the first Grand Prix team to invest in sustainable aviation fuel.

He believes this alone will help achieve a net 50 percent reduction in the team’s carbon footprint for racing staff flights, which account for more than a quarter of total emissions each year.

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