Teams hope F1 can lead green technology

Formula One teams believe the sport can set the agenda for green transport technologies in the future

Teams hope F1 can lead green technology

The FIA is keen to encourage F1 to adopt environmentally friendly regulations, and the process will start with the introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) next year.

But BMW's Mario Theissen and Honda's Ross Brawn are keen for F1 to lead the way in such developments - as long as the technologies remain road relevant.

"In principle we hope KERS is just the start of a number of new efficient technologies in the sport," said Theissen.

"But we have to be careful not to do things which do not make sense. It has to pay off on the road car side as well. It needs to be efficient in terms of environmental impact and also the effort it takes.

"But I think we are on the right track. In the future my expectation is that the powertrain will change from what we have today with the combustion engine and the gearbox to a complex unit incorporating a smaller combustion engine, an electric motor generator, an electric storage unit, control electronics and probably a very different type of transmission.

"The true innovation will lie in the adaptation of these individual components and the integration into a more efficient powertrain. I think F1 can take the lead in that."

Brawn agreed that KERS should be the start of a new era for F1 technology, and that the sport should ensure it is at the forefront of environmental technology.

"F1 should certainly be looking to introduce further environmentally-focused regulations in future," he said.

"To develop hybrid and heat recovery technologies which can then be used on road cars demonstrates that F1 can play an important role in developing energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.

"Since the launch of our earthdreams initiative at the beginning of the 2007 season, we have had fantastic support from within the Honda family and from our team partners. With more and more organisations understanding the importance of the environmental agenda, we are finding many of our current partners are benefiting from this initiative and using the message it portrays to showcase their own environmental working practices."

Theissen added that F1 was the ideal forum for progressing green systems.

"We see a big chance in KERS because in F1 we have an unrivalled development speed," he said.

"We are pushing the envelope on a weekly basis and we can explore unknown territory in a much quicker and more efficient way than a complex road car project."

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