Looking ahead

The new Formula 1 technical regulations for 2009 and beyond was designed to create opportunities for engineers to start new companies to sell technology to the Formula 1 teams and the first such company is now up and running with the news that Jon Hilton and Doug Cross, two engineers from Renault F1, have started a new business called Flybrid Systems, which will design and develop regenerative braking energy systems for use in the new Formula 1. The company will have a prototype ready by the end of the year.

Hilton was one of the people who was involved in the engine development group at Renault F1 in Britain. This was shut down as a result of the new engine freeze regulations and while some of the engineers were redeployed others found themselves out of work and so have gone their own way.

Hilton has been working in motorsport since 1991 when he joined Cosworth from Rolls-Royce Aero engines. He ended up as Cosworth's chief F1 engineer but in 1998 moved to TWR Arrows to work on the team's own engine supply. That lasted until 2003 and most of the engine department was taken over by Renault.

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