Hybrid technology in next F1 engine could be tactical tool - Brawn


Formula 1 sporting manager Ross Brawn believes that the sport's future engine platform should retain elements of hybrid technology, but possibly as a tactical asset.

Brawn is hard at work with consultations and analysis to define the future direction and the specifics of F1's power unit beyond 2020.

While elements of hybrid technology will be retained, Brawn won't settle for a platform which represents a 'soft middle ground' between the demands from manufacturers and what the fan community is expecting.

"We're in debate with the engine manufacturers and car manufacturers and some of the engineering companies like Cosworth and Ilmor - people that are pure racing engine manufacturers - so there is a big discussion going on," Brawn said at F1's London Live event on Wednesday.

"It's not a question really of finding a sort of soft middle ground where you don't offend anyone because I don't think that will be the best solution.

"But hybrid technology is probably going to be retained because it offers some relevance, it offers the engagement of manufacturers, but can we turn it around a little bit and make it a tactical quality?

"So in a race you've got much more capacity to use the battery power and the hybrid nature of the cars to try and get an advantage."

Brawn offered an interesting case study to demonstrate his point.

"This is not widely known but [Valtteri] Bottas got past [Lance] Stroll in Baku because he saved his battery up and used it on that last section. He used it tactically.

"Well, we should have all known that on the TV, it should have been something we demonstrated. So the hybrid side for sure could provide some interest in that respect."

Fans want louder engines, and so does F1's sporting manager, but while Brawn is obviously attentive to the fan community's desires, bringing back non-aspirated high-revving engines isn't the plan. 

"We have a lot of fans who say we want to go back to normally aspirated engines and what you've got to do is ask the next question of 'Why is that?' And it's because it creates more emotion with the noise and the revs. 

Ross Brawn, Chase Carey

"So can we create a hybrid engine which has that noise and has the revs and has the appeal? I think the manufacturers involved in Formula 1 know that that's a key element because they need to have a successful Formula 1.

"It's no good having an engineering exercise that demonstrates your technology if nobody is watching it. 

"So the manufacturers realise it's got to be a balance of relevance but still able to engage the passion of the fans.

"So I think the new engine won't be going back to a normally aspirated V12, whatever the heart might say, but it will be a more exciting and more accessible than we have now."

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