Honda gifted cynics a field day when it unveiled its new formula one car devoid of sponsorship logos and painted like a giant map of the world.
“I commend the message but I find it a bit insincere,” said one grand prix fan on an internet forum after the first images of the so called ‘Earth Car’ were made public on Monday.
Another said: “I guess they got what they wanted — attention.”
No matter the sentiment, the RA107 single seater will still pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel — a fundamental cause of the environmental crisis.
Moreover, an F1 car emits nearly nine times more C02 per kilometre than a normal road car.
Alongside its fellow car brands Honda also recently fought to kill European Commission plans to introduce tough carbon emission targets, and is “far from reaching its EU fuel efficiency target for new cars sold,” according to a spokesperson for environmental group European Federation For Transport And Environment.
An excerpt from a Honda statement read: “If just 1% of F1 viewers turned their computer off at the plug overnight, this would save 45,000 tonnes of CO2., (which is) more than three and a half times the annual carbon emissions of the entire Honda Racing F1 Team.”
Before jetting back to Bahrain to test, meanwhile, Jenson Button told reporters at London’s Natural History Museum on Monday that he no longer leaves his TV in ‘stand-by mode’.
Honda’s ‘green’ approach, however, is no charitable act. Instead of collecting revenue in exchange for on-car logos, most existing sponsors will now receive a ‘license’ to associate with Honda’s environmental tilt.
Clicking into the website myearthdream.com – whose URL is located on the car’s rear wing – will no doubt direct visitors to dozens of corporate logos when it is launched later on Tuesday.
London’s Daily Telegraph raised another issue that might be on Honda fans’ minds.
“(They) may prefer the engineers to concentrate on the pursuit of speed rather than environmental benefits,” the newspaper wrote, also publishing Button’s admission that the RA107 is not good enough to win the Australian grand prix.
The Telegraph wrote: “(Fans) may feel that the team’s management should have more pressing matters on their mind than embracing an ethos. Such as winning more races.”