Finnish CEO justifies motorsport amidst climate crisis

Climate change has become a major topic and motorsport are putting in measures to deal with it

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CEO of home-security company iLOQ Heikki Hiltunen says motorsport still has a place in controlling climate control, despite appearing counter-intuitive by burning fuels for fun.

Motorsport is seen an easy target by climate activists seeking to change the world as leading companies and athletes distance themselves from the category.

The world currently is literally fire, with extreme temperatures in southern Europe, North America and Asia causing wildfires. In May, the 2023 Emilia Romagna GP was cancelled due to floods but had temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius or more in July.

“The sport is being ostracised a bit at the moment.” Hiltunen said to Iltalehti. “When we talk about climate change, the question always arises of what role motorsport plays in it.

“At the top of motorsport, a lot of development and research is being done to make passenger car engines lower emissions. Technological development takes place in competitive sports.”

Flooded TV compound at Imola | Twitter @mik94__

How motorsport is combatting climate change

There is a visible impact of motorsport trying to switch to become carbon-neutral and sustainable. Formula 1 switched to turbo-hybrids in 2014 as car companies began to explore electrical power for road cars. In the process, F1 abandoned the popular normally aspirated engines of the past to much criticism.

F1 managed to introduce its technology into a road car, albeit a very expensive one, when Mercedes debuted their AMG-ONE car that utilised the F1 turbo-hybrid power unit and other features to improve fuel-efficiency.

But it did not stop there and continued to push for a carbon-neutral 2030 target that has seen its competitors make their factories net-zero on emissions and has adapted ethanol as a fuel source to phase out oil to an extent, with the next step expected in 2026.

Nick Cassidy of Envision Racing at 2023 Portland E-Prix | Formula E

Alongside this, Formula E was established in 2014 as a racing series entirely dedicated to electrically-powered cars and has entered it’s ninth season in 2023.

F1 world champions Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg helped establish Extreme-E, an electrical off-road electrical SUV series that races in environments which could be devastated by climate change.

Finally, Sebastian Vettel retired from F1 in 2022 in part to focus on using his influence and resources to improve the environment we all live in.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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