I just wrote about hypermiling muscle cars, and now we have, um, the Greening of Formula One. I won’t go so far as to say hypermiling, but they are definitely using energy storage devices to improve fuel mileage.
There are two approaches: the typical hybrid approach of using storage batteries, or they could use a flywheel. Whichever version they use, it must be in place for the 2009 racing season. The Rolls Royce team is taking the flywheel approach, according to this article on Popular Science’s web site.
This, of course, is good news as technology tested on the track somehow begins to find itself on passenger vehicles in our driveways. So this will help us all do better at the pump.
My prediction: Once Formula One has it Indy will adopt it in short order, then it’ll be left to those good ol’ boys in NASCAR. Straight tracks don’t really have much incentive to try any type of kinetic energy recovery as they’re either accelerating or braking – there’s no “repeat” as there is in other types of racing.