An F1 car’s power equivalent

British Gas - Formula One 2014

When you think of Formula One, speed, noise and powerful engines spring to mind. The charged atmosphere and enthusiastic crowds help to make motor racing one of the most popular sports in the world.

But did you know that an F1 car now produces 120 KW of electrical power per lap?

F1 goes green

Formula One has embraced green technology by introducing a new Energy Recovery System (ERS). This new power  unit recovers energy from the car’s brakes and from the heat generated by the engine.

The ERS has been refined with a more powerful generator unit called the MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit – Kinetic). This electric motor harvests exhaust heat, which is turned into energy to boost the engine and also into electrical energy.

The new system can store 10 times as much energy as the old ERS. In 2013, ERS powered the car for six seconds per lap, but this year an extra 120kW of power will be available through the ERS, powering the car for 33 seconds per lap.

Energy comparisons

The 120kW of electrical power that each F1 car will generate per lap in this week’s Monaco Grand Prix equates to:

• Running 2.5 photocopiers for an entire day
• Powering 24 air conditioning units
• Boiling 60 kettles
• Driving your work laptop for 100 days
• Powering 20 fluorescent office lights for 34 days

Formula E

This year will also see the introduction of Formula E, a championship for electric cars. The zero-emission race begins in Beijing this September and will tour 10 cities around the world including London and Buenos Aires.

Energy saving tips

• Copiers use between 40-70 watts during standby and 1,400-1,600 watts when operating so make sure you copy only what you need. Activate the energy saving mode and turn the printer and photocopier off when not in use to help reduce business energy consumption.
• Remember that heating water contributes to your business electricity bill so only fill the kettle with as much water as you actually need.
• Reduce your business electricity prices by taking simple practical steps, including having a variable speed drive to change the temperature throughout the day. Also, make sure to keep windows and doors shut when units are operating.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within the British Gas Business Blog are those of the author alone and do not represent those of British Gas. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this blog are not guaranteed. British Gas accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright in the content within the British Gas Business Blog belongs to the authors of such content and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. For more information about the mix of fuels used to generate our electricity simply visit You can find information about how to make a complaint at