From next month's 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance race to next year's F1 season, auto racing is embracing hybrid initiatives
By Mike SpinelliPosted 04.28.2008 at 5:01 pm 24 Comments
Making Formula One racing "greener" may be as much a marketing decision as a policy of corporate responsibility. But according to F1 officials, there's another reason to do so. The series has been moving further out of sync with the technical direction of the passenger car industry, which increasingly has fuel economy on the brain. F1 was always intended to be a bellwether, not a rogue element. That's one reason why, beginning in 2009 Formula One racing will introduce a hybrid-drive system into the series. If you want a sneak preview of how a hybrid setup might work in a racing application, keep an eye on how well one oddly named race car performs in next month's 24 Hours of Nürburgring endurance challenge in Germany next month.
This week came news that Honda has dropped the hybrid version of the Accord from its lineup. If you find this sad, youve never driven an Accord hybrid. The regenerative braking system felt stiff and unresponsive, the car shook noticeably when the gasoline engine turned on and off, and it looked just like a boring ol Accord.