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Mercedes 2014 F1 engine and battery.JPG
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Special feature

The science behind battery development and use in F1

Pat Symonds investigates the hidden science of battery life and lithium ion batteries used in Formula 1

To many people a battery is a battery. They may differentiate between the lead acid batteries found in most road cars and the lithium batteries found in battery electric vehicles and also in Formula 1 cars, but few realise there are many different types of lithium ion batteries – each with different characteristics and costs.

The history of lithium batteries is a relatively recent one and the result of cumulative work done in the USA, UK and Japan. This was recognised in 2019 with the award of the Nobel prize to Stanley Whittingham, John Goodenough and Akira Yoshino from those countries respectively.

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