Today was the Grand Prix of Japan. I’m a big fan of Formula 1 racing as the premier racing series and highest profile racing events on the planet.
What I enjoy most is watching how technology is infused into these machines and how engineers and designers are making changes daily and weekly to make major and marginal improvements in performance to make their vehicle faster than the rest.
I’m a sucker for websites with up close pictures of the chassis and the wings and winglets and noses designed to squeeze just a little more efficiency into the performance of the machines. In theory, the results from this series and indeed all of the racing series provide information for automobile manufacturers in their commercial product offerings.
Unique to the Grand Prix of Japan, Bridgestone painted the grooves in the tires green. Painting grooves isn’t new and, indeed, this year where racers must run at least one series with the hard set of tires and one with a soft set, the soft set has a white groove so that marshalls know that the teams are complying with the rules.
The green stripe was to remind the world that Formula 1 is “going green”. A whole new set of regulations ranging from fuel change to downsized engines will come into place starting next year. My first reaction was that it was a joke where these notoriously inefficent machines could ever “go green”.
But then I started to think things through. One person’s concept of “going green” is certainly different from anothers. But, the concept is that everyone should be aware of their environmental footprint and make steps towards improvement. Viewed in that light, I can see the progress that Formula 1 is going to take and they should be applauded for it. By themselves, they’re not going to save the world, but these initiatives will help the cause and that’s what it is all about.
I hope that they go the route of full disclosure and challenge everyone to make the same percentage of change in habit. Caught on, it can have a significant global impact.
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