Why your novated lease vehicle could actually be an F1 car

Jack Brabham, Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo – three of Australia's finest drivers in Formula One history. You might see these motorsport stars cruising around the country in their own cars, and interestingly, what they're driving on the road may not be too different to what they have on the track.

Formula One has always been a motorsport that pushes the boundaries, and with many everyday car manufacturers involved in the racing industry, some of the best ideas eventually make their way into our garages.

This means the car you just bought on a novated lease, or the one you're currently looking at, might actually be an F1 car in design. Need some convincing? Here are three Formula One technologies that have made their way into the mainstream.

1) Hybrid engines

Once upon a time, Formula One was all about getting the most performance from the least weight, regardless of how much CO2 was produced as a result. Today, times and tastes have changed, and the pinnacle of motorsport has become much more eco-friendly.

More recently, Formula One teams replaced their snarling V8s (and the V12s of the 80s) with more conservative 1.6-litre V6 engines. Whatever your opinion on the "noise factor" during races, the innovation certainly pushed hybrid cars further into the public eye.

Mercedes says its W05 hybrid system is about 35 per cent more efficient than its predecessor, with the S 500 plug-in hybrid car expected to reach the same efficiency levels.

2) Fuel-injection systems

Petrol cars no longer need a carburetor; fuel-injection systems came through development to replace them and drive new levels of efficiency. These are valves that electrically control the mixture of fuel and air needed to cause a combustion, leading to better efficiency and performance.

The benefits were clear in motorsport, and Formula One was one of the first competitions in which we saw direct fuel injection tested and used.

"Technologies like direct fuel injection found their way into series production via the Silver Arrows of the 1950s", explains Daimler's head of research development, Thomas Weber.

"Today, the challenges and complexities faced by F1 are quite similar to those faced by us in designing and developing advanced road cars … To translate efficiency into superior performance."

From these challenges, many cars now include multi-port fuel injection, a system for each cylinder to drive more performance. Thanks to the competitive elements of F1, the humble and inefficient carburetor is now only found in chainsaws, lawnmowers and similar machines.

3) Aerodynamics

Your car might not look like the one Daniel Ricciardo brought to eighth position last year, but the physics of aerodynamics are the same. Formula One's high-performance, low-weight cars were some of the first that really needed to take aerodynamics to heart, and those theories exist today in your garage.

Rounded bonnets, sleek underbodies and bulbous headlights are not just for aesthetic purposes, but manipulate the air around your car. This adds grip, reduces wind resistance and improves fuel efficiency.

Some of the best performers on our roads, according to Motorburn, are the Peugeot 506, the Toyota Prius, the Audi A6 and the Mazda 3 sedan – just a handful of options you have with a novated lease.

The future 

As Formula One continues to evolve, so too do our road cars. It leaves us with a great pipeline of innovative technologies directly to your local dealership. So, what does the future hold?

Two of the things we might see on the road before long are DRS (drag reduction system) and KERS (kinetic energy recovery system). The McLaren P1 is showcasing both of these in a road car, though the model might be out of the price range of some car buyers, even with the savings of a novated lease!

DRS gives you more drag when you need it, and less when you don't via an adjustable rear wing. KERS, meanwhile, delivers you with a boost of power at the push of a button by recovering and storing some of the energy lost when braking.

You might not see either in your garage just yet, but you never know what can happen in the next few years, do you?