Australia’s Will Power Shares Insights on IndyCar’s New Hybrid Technology
By Timothy Neal
Date posted: October 24, 2023
Will Power, the Australian IndyCar driver, has had extensive experience with the new hybrid technology that is set to debut in the 2024 season. Power has completed the most laps so far and shared his thoughts on the deployment and nuances of the new system.
The recent testing involved a few drivers who had the opportunity to test the new hybrid component. The motor generator unit, which is part of the hybrid system, is fitted at the rear where the remote starter currently attaches to the gearbox. The super capacitor, which stores the energy, is located inside the bell housing.
Primarily, the new hybrid unit is designed for the push-to-pass system, utilizing the super capacitor’s effectiveness for short bursts of energy rather than providing long-lasting power.
Power expressed his enthusiasm for the new technology, stating that it adds another element for drivers to gain an advantage. He believes that the drivers who can use it most efficiently will have an edge over the rest of the field. However, it is still uncertain how manual the technology will be during the upcoming season.
During further testing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, Power explained how the hybrid system would be utilized in the Indy 500, particularly in the qualifying session. He mentioned that drivers would need to manage various aspects, including regeneration, fuel slot switching, and adjusting anti-roll bars, all while aiming for a fast lap time.
Compared to the current push-to-pass system with a set amount of horsepower, the new hybrid system offers more variability. However, the specific rules regarding its usage have not yet been determined by IndyCar.
Power emphasized that the deployment of the hybrid power and how it is used on road, street, and oval courses, especially with the paddle on the steering wheel for regeneration, whether it will be auto or manual, is still being tested and decided by the rule makers.
Although the auto regeneration mode will minimize driver interaction, Power believes having the ability to manually regenerate could provide an advantage. However, based on the latest tests, it appears likely that the system will operate in automatic mode to optimize lap time and ensure reliability.
IndyCar has not officially announced how the hybrid technology will be utilized throughout the 2024 season. They are still determining the rules and prioritizing reliability before considering all the variables and possibilities of integrating the hybrid system into race strategies.
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