McLaren CEO Zak Brown wants financial flexibility in sustainability push

Current F1 cost cap restricts teams’ ability to make technological innovations.
  • McLaren Racing is targeting net zero by 2040
  • F1 cost cap restricts technological innovation

McLaren Racing chief executive Zak Brown wants more financial flexibility in the pursuit of greater sustainability in Formula One.

With financial regulations now in place in the series, teams are unable to invest the necessary funds to make environmental advancements, or at least not at the rate they would like.

“Sustainability’s not a competition,” Brown told the Financial Times. “It’s something we all need to hold hands together on.”

This collaborative effort is important to ensure Formula One remains relevant as the world shifts to a focus on sustainability.

McLaren has already made progress in this space, with its goal to build a fully sustainable circular Formula One car and plan to hit net zero emissions by 2040. This has already seen the team trial recycled carbon fibre parts at the United States Grand Prix this season.

“We do think there are areas that will not necessarily put performance on the race car today, but areas we want to invest in to be more sustainable down the road,” added Brown.

McLaren Racing has also previously called for the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and Formula One to work together with teams to create a regulatory framework in the pursuit of wider sustainability goals.

Travel and logistics remain the biggest contributors to the series’ carbon footprint, although the majority of this falls outside the teams’ remit. 

“Almost half our carbon footprint is flying around the world,” Brown said. “So [the question is] how can we do that more efficiently?”

Brown told the Financial Times that the team sends components by boat rather than plane, but this is not always possible with the international nature of the Formula One calendar.