• Apr 23, 2008

Formula One is going hybrid starting next year, according to statements released by the sport's governing body the FIA. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) will be phased in over a period of several years, starting with the 2009 season and culminating with the full-fledged implementation by 2013. The system works essentially by storing energy expelled under braking, which can then be used via a "push-to-pass"-style button mounted on the steering wheel that drivers can employ for an extra power boost.

The reaction within the Ferrari team, meanwhile, has been mixed. Vice-president Piero Ferrari – Enzo's son who owns 10% of the company – railed against the idea, saying it goes against the FIA's cost-cutting measures and will cost the teams inestimable sums of money to develop. Former driver Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, who remains close to the team, voiced his support for the system, saying that road cars and the environment will reap the benefits. All the while, Ferrari prepares to sell its system to other teams, starting with Force India, which, alongside Scuderia Toro Rosso, already buys its engines from Ferrari.

[Source: Autoblog Green and F1-Live]



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  • 17 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      You know if you make the whole F1 field run hybrids, global warming will come to a halt. You know, 20 race cars burning for a total of what 5 hours or so is what is causing global warming. This is just another BS marketing tactic. I also love the new water bottles that claim to have less plastic in them in an effort to be green when really they just made a smaller bottle with less water and charge the same price. hahaha. Brilliant, so we get cool points with the tree huggers and we make more money. Tons of companies are making green movements that actually have nothing to do with GW and all to do with making stock holders more money. But hey that's how biz goes, you can't fault them for it. Damn it, my Dog just farted. Sorry guys I will tell him not to do that again.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude, you're missing the point. It's called the trickle down effect. Motor racing is wasteful by nature, obviously it'll never be 'good' for the environment, its just a sport. But this will put a lot of money towards development of technologies that'll eventually get into the hands of regular drivers.
        I've been saying for a while that regen braking could do a lot for racing if you could find a way to store and discharge the energy really quickly. (Ultracaps or even a hydraulic hybrid system would really work best). And it sounds like it's being implemented just as I always wanted it: a big red button.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will be interesting to see. I was sort of put off to the news at first, and yes, the cost-cutting contradiction comes to mind. But, it'll be interesting watching the turbo-button come into the mix, in a sport where passing has been happening less and less.

      So in a few years time, we could potentially have lighter cars, with no traction control, slick tires, and the electronic equivalent of nitrous... racing at night.

      F1 might earns some new fans again.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At this rate, why not just give them all bicycles?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Bicycles aren't safe enough. Have to go to big wheels.
      Jvijil
      • 6 Years Ago
      hybird huh? so now they've resorted to using birds for fuel??? hahahahaha
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Jvijil
        Wow i totally overlooked that, good eye.

        Canada can supply as many Canadian geese as needed...even then there would be an overpopulation of them.
      • 6 Years Ago
      People hear the term hybrid and they automatically think green. This is nothing more than an updated version of the ill fated flywheel storage system that had been tried in race cars before but the ridgid mounting of the mechanical flywheel linkage led to the flywheel acting as a gyroscope and screwing up the car's handling and even preventing it from going up and down hills. By attaching it to an electric generator the flywheel can be placed on gimbals so that it's free to stay upright as the car changes orientation. The cars will probably end up using MORE fuel in the end to spin up and move this extra equipment, but the driver will have a "turbo" button available to him as a result. this could make actual passing commonplace in F1 again. Bring it on.
        • 6 Years Ago
        well hills wont be a problem thanks Mr.Tilke and his awazing (read strile) track design
      • 6 Years Ago
      Max should ask Bernie to join him in one of his videos, so these brilliant ideas like F1 going 'green'do not happen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Who the hell cares about the emissions blown out of the cars, when more and more races go overseas to states like dubai or malaysia, and make teams burn enourmos amounts of CO2 by having to fly all of their equipment there.

      And then theres another climate killer that will be introduced, called the "night" race, which will ironically be as bright as the day because of all the lights theyll have installed there.

      Whoever thinks that F1 is going to be environmental friendly by going hybrid must be a complete dumbass. The only positive thing i can see about it is that car developers will pump lots and lots of money into hybrid development, which will then pay off for consumer cars as well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They did say that they would be buying from the larger teams, so they wont lose to much money in development cost
      • 6 Years Ago
      Actually this is good. From what i've heard some technologies from F1 cars come down to users.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The engine freeze still makes sense. They dont want the teams to continue to find power through higher rev's which is the only "easy" way to do so and does not benefit road cars at all.

      The FIA is just trying to shape the direction they want the technology to go. I see this as nothing but good! Hopefully this will eventually work its way into the ALMS as well and Iam super disappointed by Honda for not releasing a hybrid NSX or Toyota for the LFA or whatever its called not being hybrid.

      This is the way technology is going to have to start to go to meet the mandates
      • 6 Years Ago
      To ahve an engine freeze for a number of years and then have the teams develope an all new system to the Nth degree, doesn't make sense to me. I thought they would continue the trend to reduce capacity from 2.4L and reintroduce forced induction, an already developed technology. I can't see private teams developing all new means of propulsion.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What most of you have completely ignored, is the fact that hybrid powertrain has benefits beyond reducing emissions. Recovering energy from braking increases fuel efficiency and reduces wear on brakes. Some form of regenerative braking makes a ton of sense.
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