The McLaren team will test cutting-edge recycled carbon fiber during next week’s US Grand Prix as part of its ambitious goal of developing a totally sustainable F1 car by 2030.
McLaren’s endeavor also coincides with the Woking-based company’s overall purpose to investigate cutting-edge technologies and materials contributing to their net-zero goal.
McLaren has secured recycled materials created using cutting-edge technology in partnership with V Carbon, a forward-thinking composites business.
The rCF-crafted vehicle components reflect revolutionary developments and will first appear on the MCL60’s cockpit branding panels, prominently displaying the V Carbon emblem.
According to McLaren, the environmental benefits of regenerated carbon fiber include:
-A 90% reduction in life cycle emissions when compared to ordinary carbon fiber, equating to 27 tonnes of carbon emissions per tonne of material utilized.
-If just 1% of carbon fiber created globally in 2022 was rCF, 32,535 tonnes of carbon emissions would be saved, equivalent to half of McLaren Racing’s total emissions in 2022.
-The production of the F1 car is one of the major contributors to the overall carbon footprint of F1 teams. Increasing the use of more sustainable materials has the potential to significantly reduce emissions.
If the Austin testing is successful, McLaren intends to use the material on its cars for the balance of the 2023 Formula One season. The team is also interested in exploring potential applications for it in future vehicle designs.
“We’re excited to work with V Carbon to lead the charge in sustainable materials, running with recycled carbon fiber at the Austin GP,” McLaren F1 chief operations officer Piers Thynne said.
“The future applications of recycled carbon fiber are fascinating.” V Carbon has up to 85% of the original strength of carbon fiber, making it suitable for a wide range of applications in F1 and beyond.
“We will continue to work closely with the FIA, F1, and fellow teams to help accelerate change.”
Kim Wilson, McLaren’s Director of Sustainability, added, “Developing a fully circular F1 car is our moonshot.” We understand that developing in this field has the potential to make a significant contribution to meeting our ambitious sustainability targets.
“Using recycled carbon fiber in key parts of the F1 car at this year’s US GP and analyzing their performance on the track is a vital step towards reducing the overall GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions of our car manufacture.”