Mercedes F1 boss Andy Cowell has spoken out against Bernie Ecclestone after he claimed that F1 hybrid engine technology has ‘nothing to do with cars’. Cowell disputed this fact by saying that road cars would soon be using the same technology as the ones we see racing around the world’s most glamourous racing circuits.
Ecclestone and Cowell are speaking specifically about the power units that are found on the current F1 cars driven to the limits on a weekly basis by Hamilton, Vettel and Rosberg. Ecclestone, who has been vocal about his dislike of these power units in the past, is of the opinion that they are too complicated to be able to transfer to everyday road cars.
Cowell on the other hand believes that they do have a place in our everyday lives, especially where manufacturers are striving to make engines smaller and relying more heavily on turbochargers, which can experience the ‘turbo-lag’ phenomenon. Hybrids obviously exist already, but the new F1 technology can be used to recover energy from the turbocharger shaft which can then be utilised by applying power directly to the rear wheels or to prepare the turbocharger system to prevent the ‘turbo-lag’ phenomenon. This can be relevant for our modern day lives as it can help cars to pull away from the traffic lights, even if they have large turbochargers to combat small engine size.
This isn’t the first instance of F1 racing technology filtering down into cars that we ordinary people will use, and we have also seen F1 technology being implemented into buses. So even with Bernie’s experience in the racing industry, we would like to think that in the future we will be seeing some cutting edge technology being fed down to the rest of us.
What are your opinions on these hybrid motor developments? We here at PBA try to promote the alternatives to travelling by car, but it is great to see technological developments in engine efficiency and hybrid technology that will eventually filter down to the cars that we use to make car trips more sustainable in the future. If this tech is good enough for Hamilton & co, it should be good enough for us!