Formula 1 has switched to ethically sourced tyres, as it continues to try and clean up its gas-guzzling image.

The Pirelli tyres used in F1 races have switched to those approved by an NGO as meeting its standards for sustainable forestry.

The move comes as F1 targets a goal of net zero by 2030 and tries to rid its image of being a sport synonymous with environmental damage. Ex-Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel has previously said he fears that the motorsport could be banned due to climate change.

The certification means the natural rubber that went into making the tyres has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

The FSC logo is now featured on all tyres being used in the ongoing F1 world championship season.

Natural rubber – a key driver of deforestation – makes up about 15% of the rubber in an F1 tyre, with the remainder being synthetic.

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The Italian tyre maker says the certification mean that it has met “the world’s most credible standards for sustainable forestry”.

Giovanni Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli executive vice president for motorsport, sustainability and future mobility, said: “The debut of our FSC-certified tyres in the world of motorsport represents a significant moment in Pirelli’s sustainability journey. In 2021 we were first to equip a road car with FSC-certified tyres, and now we are proud to be the first do so in motorsport as well.

“Formula 1 is an extraordinary open-air laboratory for us. It allows us not only to design and test new technology as well as improve research and development processes for roadgoing tyres, but also but also to unite maximum performance, typical of the demanding motorsport environment, with commitment towards an increasingly sustainable world.”

Forest Stewardship council international commercial director, Fabian Farkas, said: “The FSC logo and certification are the reference standard for sustainable forest management. The automotive industry needs to react to alleviate the pressure that natural rubber production places on forest ecosystems and communities.

“We applaud Pirelli’s leadership in confronting the complex environmental and socio-economic challenges within the natural rubber value chain. This initiative shows that performance and sustainability can co-exist side by side, and the FSC is ready to support companies at a global level to follow this example.”

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

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