McLaren trials recycled carbon fibre to develop circular F1 car by 2030

McLaren Racing’s Formula 1 team is trialling recycled carbon fibre at this year’s US Grand Prix in a bid to develop a fully circular F1 car by 2030.

The manufacture of the F1 car is one of the largest contributing factors to McLaren’s overall carbon footprint. The recycled carbon fibre will bring a 90% reduction in life cycle emissions compared to standard carbon fibre, the equivalent of 27 tonnes of carbon emissions for each tonne of material used.

McLaren Racing director of sustainability Kim Wilson said developing a fully circular F1 car is the company’s “moonshot.”

“We know that innovating in this space has the potential to make a large contribution to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals,” Wilson added.

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Enhancing the use of more sustainable materials therefore has huge potential to help reduce emissions and move towards its goal of reaching net zero by 2040

Working towards a circular economy is one of the racing company’s four pillars of its sustainability strategy. As part of this, McLaren has teamed with Deloitte and V Carbon to showcase the feasibility of circular practices in the production of F1 cars.

“As a team, we are passionate about driving change in our sport, but we cannot do this alone and need to collaborate with others, like V Carbon and our partners Deloitte, to achieve this,” said Wilson.

McLaren was the first F1 team to race a chassis manufactured wholly from carbon fibre in 1981. More recently, it introduced bio-based flax fibre as a substitute for traditional carbon fibre in 2020, which has been successfully used in Lando’s car seat ever since.

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