The hybrid effect

23rd May 2024

As per the previous event at Brands Hatch, the championship order will again determine each driver’s hybrid availability going into qualifying and Race 1 at Snetterton this weekend (25/26 May).

With Snetterton being the longest circuit on the calendar at 2.97-miles, many expect this may have an even greater impact than it did previously when it comes to hybrid deployment.

The top two in the order going to Brands Hatch – Tom Ingram and Ash Sutton – both only narrowly made it through Q1 with less hybrid deployment available than the rest of the grid, although the latter produced the goods to eventually make it into the ‘Quick Six’… saying he had to ‘work extremely hard’ to qualify sixth and slowest overall in that final segment.

So, with the 1.21-mile Brands Hatch Indy circuit naturally having fewer areas for hybrid to show its advantages… the Snetterton 300 layout looks set to take things up a notch further according to the top three in the overall Drivers’ standings.

“It’s great being second in the championship,” said Team BMW’s Colin Turkington. “But attention immediately turns to Snetterton and how that will have an effect on qualifying and race one with the lack of hybrid.”

Ingram, meanwhile, dropped to third in the standings after a puncture in the final race at Brands, which the Team BRISTOL STREET MOTORS star hopes has a slight silver lining for Snetterton.

“The puncture obviously put paid to that (good result) and has cost us a bit of ground in the championship,” said the 2022 champ. “Still, there’s a long way to go, and at least we won’t be quite as disadvantaged in qualifying and race one at Snetterton now, so it’ll be game on again there!”

And what of championship leader Ash Sutton, a driver renowned for his blistering pace and someone that took a record-equalling six pole positions and 12 victories during his all-conquering 2023 title-winning campaign.

The only driver prior to that to claim six pole positions in a season was James Thompson in 2003 and the sole racer to take 12 race wins was Alain Menu back in 1997, a feat that may be difficult to repeat under the latest rules and regulations.

“Bragging rights (in the standings), but no hybrid!” he joked. “I think in this new era of hybrid, with the qualifying system and the tyre options, consistency is going to be more important than ever this year.

“Of course, we want to win races and we will be winning races, but 100% it’s about scoring points and we’ve had to change that mindset these past two weekends.”

You will get the first chance to see exactly how the challenge unfolds during qualifying and the new ‘Quick Six’ format, which you can watch live on Saturday from 1520 via the ITV Sport YouTube channel. © 2024
Follow us
Developed by BBGMedia Home