Renault concerned about silent electric F1 cars in the pit lane

Of all the teams and manufacturers in F1, typically Renault has been the most supportive of the FIA's push for more environmentally-friendly means of propulsion. The French manufacturer – which has, in the "civilian" market, often been at the forefront of the electric car scene – was a big proponent of the switch to smaller, turbocharged engines for Formula One. But this whole business about electric-powered F1 cars could be one step too far.

As you may recall, the FIA (which governs F1 and a myriad other motorsport disciplines around the world) recently issued new regulations to take effect by 2014. They stipulate that, in conjunction to the new 1.6-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines, F1 cars would need to operate solely on electric power from its Energy Recovery System (which would now be able to capture heat from the exhaust as well) while in the pit lane.

However, Eric Boullier, who heads up the Renault F1 team, appears concerned at having F1 cars zipping silently through the pit lane. And not just for the loss of spectacle, but for safety's sake. And Boullier (pictured above) has a point: the pit lane is the only spot on the track where people and cars meet – often in very close proximity – with mechanics out in the open and team strategists running between their team's garage to the pit wall. If they can't hear a car coming, it could lead to catastrophic levels of pedestrian collision, though the simple addition of a noise-emitting device would likely solve the issue.

[Source: Reuters | Image: Renault]

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