Here's How Hybrid Technology in Formula One Has Evolved Since 2007

Gif: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (YouTube)

Formula One has spent the last ten years pushing the boundaries of hybrid technology to make their cars faster and more efficient. Sure, we know that tech has pretty rapidly evolved—but what does that actually look like?


You can count on the Mercedes F1 team to show you how it’s done. In the team’s new YouTube video, Andy Cowell, the Managing Director of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains, gives a rundown of how things have grown this past decade. You can check out the full four-ish minute video below:

If you aren’t able to watch the video, Cowell takes the time to go over the initial hybrid system and KER (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) as a way to illustrate how more research and development rapidly altered the ability to store and use energy.

Back in 2007, for example, the system weighed 107kg and only clocked in at 39 percent efficiency—so, you were still getting a boost with the hybrid tech, but not a huge one. Two years later, in 2009, you jumped right to 25.3kg and 70 percent efficiency. That is huge.

Currently, the hybrid system weight 20kg (which is as low as F1 regulations will allow) with 96 percent efficiency. That’s pretty damn impressive.

While F1 can feel pretty far removed from the everyday life of us common folk, Cowell highlights the fact that the hybrid tech used in F1 is just a more advanced version of the same stuff used in our hybrid road cars. F1 is pushing the envelope so we can run our cars further on a single tank of gas by harvesting all the spare energy it releases.

Pretty neat, right?

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.


A Boy and His Longtail

Absolutely electrifying.