Believe it or not, seven years ago today Honda debuted one of the most talked about F1 cars in recent history — the “Earth Car.” Technically speaking, it didn’t do much to improve Honda’s racing performance before the team’s pullout in 2008. But symbolically, the Earth Car made a statement of a cleaner sport that other team’s had yet to make.
As you would guess (and you can see here), Honda’s Earth Car came plastered with a map of planet Earth across its entirety, making it the first time in 30 years that any F1 car has taken to the grid without a sponsored permanent livery. And for a small donation to an environmental charity, fans could even have their names added to the racer.
“The global reach, the number of people we can talk to, is immense, so we can change minds,” former team boss Nick Fry told Reuters in 2007. “We are going in a more environmentally-friendly direction with the systems we put on the car and Formula One is really a laboratory for road car technology.”
Today, we see more teams using smaller, more turbocharged engines, and lighter, more efficient cars. The Earth Car’s winds of change certainly did make an impact in the sport, even if it was a small one.
Cheers to you Honda, see you back in 2015.