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How Lenovo Is Helping To Drive Formula 1® Towards a More Sustainable Future

How Lenovo Is Helping To Drive Formula 1® Towards a More Sustainable Future

Published 06-12-24

Submitted by Lenovo

A F1 race at night

Formula 1® (F1) has long pioneered new technologies which have ‘trickled down’ into the car industry, but its latest ambitious goal is to lead in its sustainability efforts. Having previously moved the equivalent of two data centers around the world for each race in order to do everything from timing races to delivering live footage to 180 territories, its technology footprint is a big part of these efforts.

In partnership with Lenovo, F1 is rethinking the way that the organization uses technology. Initiatives such as recycling old computers, using more sustainable hardware, and working to ensure that 40 truckloads of servers don’t have to be shipped from circuit to circuit are helping to reduce the organization’s environmental impact. With ambitious plans to use technology to drive efficiency even further, Lenovo and F1 are working together to drive forward the sustainability agenda of the world’s favorite motorsport.

A New Approach

Sustainability is now foremost in the minds of F1 leaders when choosing new systems and solutions with Lenovo and going through rigorous sustainability checks as part of the selection process. F1 is now taking a ‘less is more’ approach to technology in partnership with Lenovo, choosing more efficient new hardware that delivers outstanding performance while using less energy. This means that F1 can consolidate and reduce the amount of physical hardware in use. The hardware also accumulates far fewer miles of travel, thanks to a new remote operation model, meaning that Lenovo’s cutting-edge data center can deliver high performance from anywhere.

The move to consolidate hardware has also helped curb the energy consumption of the championship. One example is when it comes to rendering timing pages: F1 replaced its previous servers with two Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Tiny workstations. The ThinkStation Tiny is the industry’s smallest ISV-certified workstation, built to work with the latest Intel Core processors, and is EPEAT Gold certified, the most demanding set of criteria for sustainability in electronics.

“We have ambitious targets and rely on technical partners like Lenovo to provide us with expert advice and the right solutions to help us reach our goals,” said Chris Roberts, Director of IT, Formula 1. “Our operations are mostly remote, as we move from race to race. This means we need to meet our growing compute needs while on the road and use technology to help reduce our carbon footprint. A large part of this is reducing the amount of equipment that has to travel, and the power consumption that keeps everything moving.”

In a dark room, multiple monitors with different race scenes.

A Time of Growth

Lenovo’s involvement comes at a time of global expansion for F1, with record attendance and millions of new viewers tuning in worldwide thanks to broadcast deals, including in the US with ESPN. Technology is becoming a key tool in managing this expansion while still maintaining the organization’s sustainability ambitions, with the reliability and high performance of Lenovo servers enabling F1 to expand at speed. Thanks to Lenovo’s consulting services, F1 has been able to bolster its core team and incorporate technology into its operational environment in a more sustainable way, with ongoing workshops with Lenovo experts allowing F1 to focus on its operations, as well as identifying any gaps and improvements and working to address these.

This is happening in parallel with a move towards a more efficient energy generation system which will power the more technology-intensive aspects of F1 races, such as the broadcast area. The Austrian Grand Prix at Spielberg in 2023 saw a switch to a low-carbon emission system to power the Formula 1 Event Technical Centre (ETC) where at-track broadcast operations take place. Using a combination of 600 square meters of solar panels on the inner field of the final corner at the Red Bull Ring, plus hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) biofuel, the pilot delivered an estimated 90% carbon reduction of the operation of Paddock, Pitlane and F1 broadcast area, in comparison to the previous year’s Austrian Grand Prix.

A F1 race. Lenovo banners on the boundaries.

Recycle, Reuse, Recover

Today, asset recovery services are an essential part of sustainability in tech, ensuring that devices are recycled and reused at the end of their lives. Choosing Lenovo’s Asset Recovery Service meant that F1 was able to offset some of the cost of a technology refresh, recouping value from machines that are recycled in a responsible way.

Lenovo’s partnership with F1 has already seen over 800 devices recycled and repurposed and saved from being part of the 62 million tons of e-waste produced in 2022 alone. For F1, ensuring devices are recycled and reused in a protected environment is also highly important, as F1 teams deal with highly confidential data.

“Lenovo provides us with great support across both services and hardware. From boosting our operations with the right devices to powering our backend processing needs with servers and High-Performance Computing solutions, the team really leans in to help us to think about how we grow and do things in a more sustainable way. A key example of this is the Asset Recovery Service, through which Lenovo sustainably disposes of our old devices. We’ve already seen over 95% of old hardware recycled – that’s quite a significant percentage,” said Chris Roberts, Director of IT, Formula 1.

“In the future, we hope to use AI-driven predictive analysis to allow asset recovery to be even more efficient, predicting when machines could be recycled or reused.”

In a dark room people watching multiple monitors.

Saving Energy

Lenovo’s fresh approach saw ageing hardware replaced with more efficient new machines: the shift to better-performing hardware has not just meant reduced energy consumption, but also less demand for air conditioning and cooling, all of which helps F1 to hit its emissions reduction targets.

The new remote operation model has seen the number of staff travelling to trackside almost halved from 250 to just 130. This was powered by a move to a state-of-the-art virtualization platform consisting of 1.16THz of processing power spread across 448 CPU Cores along with 3.5TB of RAM, which allows F1 to run 200 virtual machines and the Kubernetes platform from a base in London, regardless of where the cars are racing.

Lenovo has also offered CO2 Offset Services for all the computing hardware supplied to F1, with plans underway to add server technology in the future. Bulk notebook orders are also delivered using sustainable aviation fuels, helping to cut F1’s Scope 3 emissions still further.

In a dark room people watching multiple monitors.

Moving towards a More Sustainable Future

Going forward, F1 is considering moving to a consumption-based technology model, paying only for what is used. This will help it to innovate sustainably, keep up with fast-evolving technology, and meet its ambitious goals to stay sustainable while scaling rapidly. F1 has also been offered Lenovo Device Intelligence (LDI) Plus, an AI-powered SaaS service which offers important insights to monitor power consumption in end-user devices.

“F1 is an iconic institution, and one that has captured the attention of millions around the world,” said Claudia Contreras, Executive Director, Sustainability Services at Lenovo. “As it looks to reduce its carbon footprint further, we’re exploring how to enhance performance while consolidating hardware, reducing what needs to be transported. These are just the first steps in our ongoing partnership – we’ll keep working together to help its sustainability efforts while millions of fans keep enjoying the sport.”

Learn more about Lenovo’s Sustainability Solutions.

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Lenovo is a US$62 billion revenue global technology powerhouse, ranked #217 in the Fortune Global 500, employing 77,000 people around the world, and serving millions of customers every day in 180 markets. Focused on a bold vision to deliver Smarter Technology for All, Lenovo has built on its success as the world’s largest PC company by further expanding into growth areas that fuel the advancement of ‘New IT’ technologies (client, edge, cloud, network, and intelligence) including server, storage, mobile, software, solutions, and services. This transformation together with Lenovo’s world-changing innovation is building a more inclusive, trustworthy, and smarter future for everyone, everywhere. Lenovo is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange under Lenovo Group Limited (HKSE: 992)(ADR: LNVGY). To find out more visit, and read about the latest news via our StoryHub.

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