F1 hybrid component could increase to 50%


Whatever one might think, as FIA president, Jean Todt has made clear, there will be no return to the old ways of Formula One, and those, like Lewis Hamilton, dreaming of a return to screaming V12s and V10s can forget about it, for hybrid is here to stay.

While the 2021 rules and regulations have yet to be announced, far less agreed upon, the sport is already looking ahead to 2025 when the engine formula is due for overhaul. Originally, it too was to be revised in 2021 but has now been postponed for a further four years.

Speaking in Canada, when asked what sort of engine formula he would like to see, Toto Wolff had no words of comfort for Hamilton or those fans (drivers and team bosses) still yearning for the 'good old days'.

"We are in the middle of a transition of technology," said the Austrian, "at least on the road car side, and as much as we, most of us, are fans of the loud, traditional engines, it not where the technology goes and where the perception on sustainability goes - so I believe we've done the right thing in keeping the regulations almost stable for the next term - because it would have caused a tremendous amount of development to come up with the new formula.

"Also, it is not quite clear where this next generation of power unit actually should be," he continued. "Listening to our chairman of Daimler, we expect 50 per cent of our fleet to be either hybrid or electric by 2030, so I think if this is the direction technology goes, we could as well have an engine that will have a higher hybrid component, renewable energies or electricity.

"Today, it's maybe around 20 per cent, maybe that ratio's going to go to 50 per cent. As long as it's an exciting engine - the sound is something that we need to address or at least talk about it - but I believe the hybrid component is going to increase after 2025."

"We need to discuss again and start again, what should be the pinnacle of Formula One race PU technology," added Honda's Toyuharu Tanabe. "I believe the same thing as Toto. We keep a hybrid and then what we can do is improve the current principle of the current Formula One PU."

"We all like a loud, screaming V10 or V12 but that is not, in this time, it is just not acceptable any more," said Guenther Steiner. "So, I think I would like that Formula One stays current in technology with what is happening.

"The engine manufacturers know what it needs to be: it needs to be sustainable, adding more electrical element, as Toto said, so, I go with them. For me, the point is, we need to stay up with technology in F1 and not go back to what I like, because I was young then."

"Currently we have a power unit which is on a very, very high technical level," added Franz Tost, "and, unfortunately, this has not been communicated in a way the power unit deserved.

"We have a small engine, two energy recovery systems and all these components together is the technology for the future because with this engine also in a normal street car, maybe you can do 100km with one litre, two litres of fuel, and then you come home with a filled battery.

"They all are talking about the electric cars, and I'm just asking where from do they get the energy? It's not like in Formula E when 20 cars are outside on the track and behind there are 50 diesel aggregates spending their energy. This is nothing serious in my opinion - but the great manufacturers go to the Formula E or have built electric cars. I'm just asking where they get the energy from?

"I think we have, in Formula One, the technology for the future. As Toto said, maybe the hybrid part, electric part will increase to 40 per cent or even more. That's fine, but from the technology itself, for me, this is the solution for the future."

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Published: 08/06/2019
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