McLaren is to run parts on its MCL60 Formula 1 car produced using recycled carbon fiber, during the Austin GP. The team has history with using more sustainable composites, having used flax-fiber-based composites in its seats since 2020.
The recycled materials are provided by Anglo-Swiss company V-Carbon, which is working on the development of a circular economy for composites production. According to the firm, the recycled carbon has a 90% reduction in lifecycle emissions compared to standard materials, representing 27 metric tons of carbon emissions for every metric ton of composite produced.
Kim Wilson, director of sustainability at McLaren Racing, said, “Developing a fully circular F1 car is our moonshot. We know that innovating in this space has the potential to make a large contribution to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals. 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.
“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 toward reducing the overall GHG emissions of our car manufacture. V-Carbon’s new technology, as with many other pioneering developments in F1, also has the potential for wider application across other industries, so we’re excited to explore next steps.”
If the parts perform successfully on track in Austin, McLaren plans to continue to run them for the remainder of the season, with a long-term goal of achieving full circularity of its composites manufacturing operations.