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McLaren Racing is pioneering sustainable lightweighting in F1

24 September 2020

Bcomp has collaborated with McLaren Racing on pioneering the use of sustainable lightweighting in Formula 1.

The two companies have come together to develop an alternative to carbon fibre  -in F1 – which accounts for around 70% of a modern-day F1 car’s structural weight, but is cheaper and a more sustainable alternative.

They have started with a natural fibre racing seat for Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris – the very first F1 car part to be made of renewable textile fibres.

By optimising the mechanical properties of flax fibres through fabric architecture, it’s been possible to make a seat with the required strength and stiffness, but with a 75% lower CO2 footprint compared to its carbon fibre counterpart.

“The use of natural fibre composites is the latest example of pioneering, composite materials innovation at McLaren,” explains McLaren F1 Team Principal Andreas Seidl.

“Not only does this solution provide equivalent performance to carbon fibre, it represents another step forward in our evolving sustainability programme, while underlining our commitment to helping F1 turn its ambitious sustainability strategy into action.”

“For decades, F1 has been an innovation lab for technology that has transformed not just motorsport, but the automotive industry and beyond,” adds McLaren F1 Technical Director James Key.

“The sport must continue down the road of getting to an increasingly environmentally friendly set of conditions, and our development and application of natural fibre composites is an example of how we’re accelerating this journey, as well as the ongoing evolution towards cleaner mobility.”

And this is a sentiment that is echoed by Bcomp CEO and Co-Founder Christian Fischer: “Sustainability and decarbonisation is a global issue, and it is fantastic to see motorsport embrace carbon alternatives, paving the way for widespread adoption within large-scale mobility applications. McLaren has always been a pioneer within the sport, in terms of both composites and sustainability, thus it feels like the perfect match and a great honour to collaborate with such a prestigious brand.”

Read the full story here.

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