Nico Hulkenberg laps Nordschleife in Williams Hybrid Porsche

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Nico Hulkenberg won’t drive a better circuit than this in 2010.

The Williams driver lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife in a Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid. The car uses F1-derived KERS technology supplied by Williams Hybrid Power.

Hulkenberg was equally enthusiastic about the car and the 20.8km (12.9 miles), 154-turn track:

This test was great fun. I’m impressed with how well the hybrid system works in the Porsche.

This circuit is unique – you can’t compare it to any other track in the world. This is certainly not the last time I’ll drive here. Surprisingly, in the slow corners, the 911 is not far off a Formula 1 car. The mechanical grip is impressive.
Nico Hulkenberg

Porsche didn’t issue any lap times for his three-lap run. Hulkenberg added: “Great car, fascinating technology and an incomparable track.”

The car uses two 82 bhp electric motors and flywheel generators to provide a power boost which the driver can use on-demand, similar to the system Williams developed for F1 last year but never raced.

Porsche believe the system is more efficient than a battery-based Kinetic Energy Recovery System:

Compared to a battery, the flywheel generator has the advantage of storing and delivering high amounts of energy considerably quicker.

Thanks to its sophisticated electronic control, the innovative hybrid drive of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid automatically provides optimal efficiency at racing speed. The combination of the combustion engine and electric motors fulfils a simple objective: Less fuel consumption without compromising performance.

When overtaking or accelerating out of a bend, the driver can manually override the controls by pressing the boost paddle on the steering wheel and sending energy from the charged flywheel generator to the front axle. This additional power of 120 kilowatts is available to the driver after each charge process for approximately six to eight seconds.

The 911 GT3 R Hybrid will content the Nurburgring 24 Hours at the circuit on May 15th and 16th.

Pictures: Hulkenberg on the Nurburgring Nordschleife

Video: Hulkenberg on the Nurburgring Nordschleife

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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36 comments on “Nico Hulkenberg laps Nordschleife in Williams Hybrid Porsche”

  1. Looks like the Hulk is enjoying himself on the Nordschleife. Good for Williams that their Technology development payed off.

  2. Oh Nurburgring, wish teams would put their cars round there a few times, love to see what a modern F1 car could do at the circuit. There should be a Nordschleife lap record competition, put the 2008 cars round there, see what can be done.

    Heidfelds brilliant excursion was rather ruined by BMW’s publicity hunting, imagine him an a few others of the current crop would like to drive a car at the limit round there,

  3. ahhhhhhh cant wait to see this in action!

  4. Not a very good video. However, it seems he wasn’t pushing it as he was breaking quite early in some corners.

    1. The early shot in the video shows Hulkenberg being very tentative in the Fuchsrohre, on the downhill approach to the Adenauer forest section. You’d be completely flat on a committed lap through that compression, and he was lifting a lot in that shot. But the later shots, showing him at Bruennchenn and Pflantzgarten, and also Flugplatz earlier in the lap, looked a lot more committed…quite fast and smooth actually in an exterior view. So I expect he did what any sensible racing driver would do and built up to a pace. Once he was moving I think he was probably capable of some quick times but I don’t blame Porsche for not releasing times that would inevitably fall short of the Vergers/ Radical blitz attempts (not to mention what Bellof did in a proper racing car, and will probably never be matched), and would only have served to put pressure on Nico.

  5. Hes a great driver. the german Hamilton

  6. just a thought, but is there any significance to the fact that williams technology is on a porsche? a car company that is part of the VW group. In my opinion it only adds more credit to the rumours of williams becoming williams-volkswagen or williams-porsche or williams-audi in the next few years.

    1. I can’t see that at all. Williams want to sell their system.. Porsche didn’t want to invent their own.. simples.

  7. Sounds like he had fun but shame Porsche did not release any times…

    1. probably because they didn’t want anybody trying to beat it and getting themselves killed…………..or hired into an F1 team.

  8. A Ferrari road car test driver just set a lap time under 7 minutes last week:
    Unfortunately the video isn’t working at the moment.

    1. That’s a hugely impressive time for such a large car – only 3 seconds off what I believe to be the current record for a production car: (Watch out for the scary slide at 5:46!)

      1. Ah, now I discover that the 599 was running on slicks.

      2. Radical lowered the record again recently, to 6m48s, with their SR8LM. That’s 10s quicker than the 599xx on slicks and I’m not sure what tyres Radical were using (presumably road tyres as they’re going for the “road spec” record).

        The remarkable thing is that the SR8 did 6m55s with 360hp. The SR8LM has 460hp. Doesn’t the 599xx have 700hp? I guess it’s all just a Physics lesson, showing what power to weight ratio is all about.

        I thought I was quick at a shade over 8 minutes in an R500, several years ago, at a time when the ‘production’ record was 7m56s. These sub-7m times are huge. The R500 only had 230hp, mind you.

        1. yes the Radical was on road tyres. They actually drove the car from their factory in England to the circuit, did the lap, then drove home.

  9. I’m impressed with how well the hybrid system works in the Porsche.

    I bet Porsche and Williams will be well chuffed.

  10. if he doesnt know the track well, the time would be pretty irrelevant.

    interesting that they’ve crossed the flywheels with electric motors; hard to imagin it’s better than a purely electric system.

    1. If it would not be the best package for them, they could have chosen a different system. The advantage probably is the weight loss for batteries is bigger than the weight of the fly-wheel system.
      The extra room needed is not that important in the Porsche.

  11. Keith,any chance of getting a formula one race back on this phenomenal track?

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      29th April 2010, 21:49

      Please allow me to answer. There isn’t a hope of getting an F1 race again on the Nordschlieffe, unfortunately.
      Barrier upgrades and run off areas would cost more money than Bernie has even dreamt of. In the event of an accident, access times for marshalls, fire crews and air ambulances would be unacceptably long. Marshalling costs would be prohibitive. Amd, to be honest, the track is a bit narrow for F1. Plus of course, corners like Karousel (forgive the spelling) are totally at odds with the FIA requirements for F1 tracks.
      Regrettably, this track will never be granted Formula 1 status again.

  12. It’s a shame the Williams car this year is not up to scratch (although this probably shows how impressive Nico Rosberg is, especially considering this season as well)
    I’d love to see what the Hulk could do in the Renault compared to Petrov..

  13. 6 seconds’ boost per lap wouldn’t last long round there! Interesting that the power goes to the front axle in the Porsche. Could they install KERS this way (I know 4-wheel-drive is banned) if it returns to F1, now that the fuel tank takes up all the space in the back?

    1. José Baudaier
      27th April 2010, 5:46

      It’s six seconds per charge, not per lap. Now I don’t know how many charges are made per lap, sure it depends on the track. But I’d say that on a regular f1 track it would be at least 3-5 charges.

    2. I think they could do this with F1, just they have to get the weight distribution right. Also Williams stated, that with the larger Fuel tanks they would not be able to run the flywheel system, as it would make for an even longer car.

      1. José Baudaier
        27th April 2010, 18:09

        Remember that a hibrid engine would mean less fuel comsumption so the car would need a smaller fuel tank.

      2. In 2013 4 cylinder twin turbos would leave plenty of room under the engine cover for a Williams-Porsche collaboration and plenty enough room for their Fly-wheel KERS system.

  14. did anyone notice the rear brake lights flashing separatly when he was braking?

    1. Top end sports cars tend to do that, no idea why, but the brake lights go mental when braking and turning.

      I know the Ford GT does it, it was doing it on Top Gear alot, and a Ferrari I saw last year too.

      1. Lots of new cars do it now. I avoided going up the back of a brand new Mercedes on the M25 the other day because of it: great idea IMO :)

  15. I am not good at this but I think flywheel generator is better then Battery powered KERS.But does it cost less?

  16. Why do these teams think those pedestrian laps by F1 drivers around the ring are good PR? Why not let them push a bit? The worst offender should be BMW and Heidfeld who did a 8.30 lap, in a F1 car!

    I didnt believe for a second that this is the first time Nico, a German racing driver, has driven around the ring.

    1. In all fairness, the BMW Heidfeld was in had to creep round the top of Karoussell if I remember correctly as it is too low and inflexible a platform to get any closer to the apex! :-P

  17. BMW who used their F1 driven by Heidfeld said without slowing for publicity photographs it could have lapped in under 5 mins 15 seconds.

  18. Luke Anakin Skywalker
    28th April 2010, 1:10

    Hi there motoring friends!

    According to Prof Baltazar’s calculations a F1 car would do under 5 minutes at the ‘ring’. When are we going to have a car that cost 250000$ breaking the 7 minute barrier? The new Mac MP4-12c? Remember that a heavy Nissan GTR R35 does it under 7:30 (showroom car). That car weighs 1740kg… That’s a lot or am i wrong? Hope to see a proper showroom sportscar under 7 min at the ‘ring’



  19. What time did he do in it ?

  20. Off topic …. but how do I put a picture next to my name ?

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