Powertrain Innovator of the Year Zytek has been working with Mercedes High Performance Engines since 2007 to develop the motor and power electronics for a hybrid drive system for Formula 1, addressing substantial challenges that include designing subsystems that will withstand the harsh thermal and mechanical environment of one of the world’s most demanding race series, that are exceptionally light, and which can be integrated within a system that does not affect the aerodynamics or handling of the car. Validation of this intensive development came when Lewis Hamilton won the Hungarian Grand Prix on in July 2009, driving a McLaren fitted with the Mercedes HPE system.
This success was mirrored in the ALMS series, for which Zytek has developed a hybrid drive system in partnership with Continental (which supplies the lithium battery pack), when Corsa Motorsports made the podium at Lime Rock (USA) with its Ginetta-Zytek GZ09HS LMP1 car.
“Turning the concept of kinetic energy recovery into a race-winning reality was a major breakthrough and Zytek made a vital contribution to this achievement,” observed Awards judge and freelance motorsport technology writer Charles Armstrong-Wilson.
Chairman of the judging panel and editor of Professional Motorsport World magazine Graham Heeps agreed: “It’s too early to know to what extent KERS will be adopted across other forms of motorsport, but the pioneering work of companies like Zytek – which also has a strong pedigree in road-car hybrid technology – will be of benefit to everyone who follows behind.”
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