Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Tutto quello che devi sapere sull'ERS su F1 24

In this article by Setup and Telemetry Specialist ADT Massimo Zecchinelli, you'll learn everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24.

ERS - Energy Recovery System

More than ever before, ERS has been implemented in an incredibly realistic manner in F1 24.

In F1 24, managing the battery has become crucial for your performance in races.

Better energy consumption can be decisive during overtaking/defending or even throughout the entire race.

For this reason, we invite you to read this content to become a master of ERS management.

Before explaining its functionality, let’s start with the basics: Power Units.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Power-UnitS

Since 2014, F1 cars have been equipped with the famous Power Units.

They are much more than just a simple engine, composed of several components:

  • ICE (Internal Combustion Engine): a V6 engine
  • MGU-K (Motor Generator Unit Kinetic): an electric generator connected to the crankshaft
  • MGU-H (Motor Generator Unit Heat): an electric generator connected to the turbo shaft
  • Energy Store: battery (or long-lasting super capacitors)
Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

MGU-H

The MGU-H is connected to the turbine of the turbocharger. 

When exhaust gases spin the turbine, keeping the exhaust valves closed, the MGU-H functions as a generator, converting the turbine’s kinetic energy into electrical energy.

As a motor, the MGU-H helps spin the turbine.

This is useful when, at low engine speeds, the exhaust gases aren’t powerful enough to spin the turbine efficiently (Turbo Lag).

Turbo Lag is the time required for the exhaust gases to spin the turbo to its effective speed.

Thanks to the MGU-H, we can always keep the turbo active, spinning at desired speeds without any delay.

In terms of driving, this results in a smooth power flow, preventing sudden acceleration and traction issues for the car and driver.

Note: The 2026 regulations mark the farewell to the MGU-H.

It will be interesting to see how the issue of Turbo Lag will be addressed and how drivers will manage this power flow during acceleration.

This is also because the regulations do not foresee a switch to variable turbo geometries.

Fixed geometries, as used today, will remain.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

MGU-K

The MGU-K is connected to the crankshaft.

Its speed is proportional to that of the engine.

As a generator, it gathers energy by acting as a load on the crankshaft.

Additionally, it can act as a motor.

In this case, it provides the driving wheels with an extra 120 kW (160 horsepower).

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Energy Flow Diagram

Analyzing this diagram from the current F1 technical regulations can help us better understand the process of collecting and subsequently using additional energy.

The MGU-K can provide up to 160 horsepower.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Moreover, it can discharge up to 4 MJ of stored energy from the battery per lap and, at the same time, recover and store only 2 MJ of energy per lap.

It can draw unlimited energy supply from the MGU-H via the MGU Control Unit.

In fact, the MGU-H can charge and discharge the battery without limits, making this component fundamental. 

It is responsible for filling the battery with energy that the MGU-K is limited in recovering.

In reality, the 4 MJ per lap limit is a myth as, according to the regulations, it refers to the difference between the maximum and minimum state of battery charge.

Essentially, it is the battery delta at any moment while the car is on the track.

Indeed, there is no regulation-imposed limit on the battery size at 4 MJ.

This is very important, especially in F1 24.

Both teams and drivers will want to have the additional 160 horsepower for as many laps as possible.

Otherwise, they would be penalized in terms of power.

To achieve this, they will request it from the battery and the MGU-H, both programmed to provide energy advantageously for the entire race.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

For example, the 120 kW (160 hp) can be requested for half by the battery and for half by MGU-K or in different proportions.

The more energy will be transfered from the MGU-H to the MGU-K, the better is.

It extends the use of battery.

Typical Power Unit Operation Scenarios - BRAKING

The MGU-K recovers energy, sending part of it to the battery for later use in the lap.

The rest is sent to the MGU-H to keep the turbo charged and within the optimal window for the acceleration phase, avoiding turbo lag.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Typical Power Unit Operation Scenarios - ACCELERATION

The MGU-K will request all 160 additional horsepower to improve traction.

At that point, the MGU-H, having already kept the turbo ready, will maintain its constant RPM while starting to recover energy.

Mechanical energy is transformed into electrical energy, sending it to the MGU-K.

The rest will be integrated into the battery.

Typical Power Unit Operation Scenarios - STRAIGHT

The MGU-H continues to recover energy and supplies it to both the MGU-K and the battery, recharging it.

Well, do you understand everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24?

If yes, continue reading!

Various Interpretations of the Cycle

This cycle offers different strategies of interpretation by teams and drivers.

For example, it might be useful to recover and not request energy via the MGU-K in certain zones, thus limiting the overall output of the PU.

This allows the MGU-K to supply the MGU-H and the battery with the recovered energy.

A classic example is "lift and coast," fuel saving.

This would be a way to have the MGU-K recover energy and pass it to the MGU-H for instant use or send it to the battery for later use.

In qualifying, the PU will be pushed to the max since it's a single lap.

During a race, the team will opt for a different strategy, sacrificing absolute top speed to ensure much more available energy in the long term.

To achieve this, teams use GPS data as part of the overall management system.

This to create detailed circuit maps.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

Detailed circuit maps include precise information on the locations of all corners, straights, and braking zones.

With these maps, teams can program specific strategies for using the ERS.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

For example, they can set optimal points on the circuit for energy recovery, like in braking zones, and where it is more advantageous to use it, like on straights to gain more acceleration during the race.

The ERS can be managed automatically by an electronic control unit that uses GPS information to activate/deactivate energy recovery/use based on the car’s position.

This allows for optimal use of recovered energy without constant manual intervention from the driver.

Practical Example in Austria

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

As seen from this real map released by Mercedes for the Red Bull Ring, in a neutral lap (race), energy use is rationed to avoid waste.

This ensures that there is always energy available for the driver.

In blue, the zones where the driver is partially using the throttle or storing energy are marked.

In green, the full power zones of the engine and MGU-K.

In red, the derating zones.

Derating is the intentional reduction of power output by the hybrid system.

It occurs for regulatory reasons and to manage operating temperatures, ensuring safety.

Notice how the driver, out of turn 1, goes to full power until 3/4 of the straight.

Then, the derating phase starts, and finally, the recharging phase.

This cycle will repeat in this manner throughout the circuit.

Comparing the same map with a qualifying lap, derating zones are minimized to maximize the available power.

Magenta zones, AMG Turbo, appear.

The turbo relief valves are opened, and the turbo is no longer used to recover energy but to power the MGU-H.

This way, more power is available, ideal for a qualifying lap

Every circuit presents a different challenge for drivers and engineers in trying to find the perfect use of additional energy for a complete lap.

Often, compromises will be necessary due to regulatory limits or track layout.

Now, we'll continue our journey in everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24.

Everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24

ERS In F1 24!

As evident since the first BETA, the entire ERS system has been revised.

Now, the driver is offered the ability to manage the maps as they wish.

The modes available in the EA Codemasters title are similar to those of previous editions.

However, today it is possible to use the "Overtake" button even in Hotlap mode during qualifying.

Essentially, in F1 24, the possibilities and control capabilities over energy use and recovery are greater.

Modifications to PU Behavior

To understand how to manage the ERS in F1 24, it is interesting to appreciate how the developers have modified the behavior of the Power Unit.

The torque demand resulting from the throttle input is met in this order:

  • V6 (ICE)
  • MGU-K

This means that if we are driving with 75% throttle and requesting 675 horsepower, this will be provided by the V6 engine, which alone can generate almost 740 horsepower.

A very smart choice, rather than limiting both the V6 and the MGU-K to 75%.

Only when the power demand exceeds what the V6 can provide will the MGU-K start integrating the necessary power to meet the demand.

We are not wasting battery energy with a partially pressed throttle.

Between 72% and 82% of throttle input, the V6 runs at full power and the MGU-K does not provide energy.

We can use this strategy at the end of straights or before certain braking zones to send all the energy the MGU-H is gathering.

This can be an effective way to save energy while closely following a rival, allowing the overtake mode to be used longer.

Manual Hotlap Mode

Considering that the Hotlap mode itself will try to use the entire 4MJ energy allowance from the battery to the MGU-K for a single lap, and that, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, the 4MJ refers to the difference between the maximum and minimum battery charge state...

...we can no longer accumulate more than 4MJ starting from zero stored energy at the beginning of the flying lap.

However, starting the lap with all available charge, the extra energy we might have could be 2 or 3 MJ.

And it is precisely here that, in qualifying, the use of overtake mode can save lap time.

For the race, the concept is the same.

Using overtake mode at the right points will help in race pace and managing battles.

Spamming ERS as was done in F1 23 is the worst thing to do.

Studying the circuit and our guides is the best way to achieve the best possible result.

In this guide on everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24, we are giving you a taste.

Analyzing the Changes Graphically

Thanks to this exclusive graph developed by us at ADT Esports Academy, we can fully evaluate how the developers have reviewed all available modes.

It’s amusing how, in fifth gear, in hot-lap mode, the hybrid system bypasses the technical regulations, providing 240 additional horsepower instead of 160.

Let’s take note and use it without hesitation.

Overtake mode provides more power at low gears, then aligns with hot-lap mode, which has a mild approach with higher gears.

Medium mode exploits derating the most, peaking in sixth gear down to 136 horsepower, ideal for the race.

Practical Example in China

Aware of this data, we conducted a telemetry test in Shanghai, covering the first lap three times to have the same car/track conditions.

Exiting turn 13, we tested the ERS in three different modes.

Legend:

  • Light Blue: the most conservative mode (1st attempt)
  • Yellow: mixed overtake + hot-lap mode (2nd attempt)
  • Red: the most aggressive mode (3rd attempt)

The energy gathered by the MGU-H and MGU-K is constant throughout the lap.

According to regulations, the MGU-K reaches a maximum of 2MJ compared to over 3MJ from the MGU-H.

This is an unrealistic and excessive figure, though functional to the new implemented system.

You can see how overtake mode activation occurs in sixth gear, when the car is well planted.

The circuit layout, low grip asphalt, fuel load, and hard tires did not help.

Speed increases along with the ERS level decreasing.

When we deactivate overtake mode, in the first and second scenarios, we touch 290 km/h.

Once back in medium mode, in the first attempt, we reach 304 km/h before leveling off due to programmed derating.

In the second attempt, 309 km/h.

In the third, 314.5 km/h.

Although the differences may be alarming, there are two key factors to consider:

  • Battery level
  • Stopwatch

Data in hand, you can see how in the first two attempts the lowest battery level reached is very similar (69% 1st, 61% 2nd).

The same goes for the remaining energy level at the end of the lap.

In the most aggressive mode, the lowest level is even 46% (more than half), for just gaining 10 km/h on the straight.

Here, the most important factor comes into play, the stopwatch.

Between the safest mode and the most aggressive one, there is a mere advantage of just 1.5 tenths in favor of the latter.

If these two elements are not enough, there is a third.

Squeezing the ERS all the time, as in F1 23, only drains accumulated energy without bringing evident benefits.

You need to deactivate this mode as soon as possible.

In this case, going back to medium mode, derating will kick in and cut power.

The engine speed previously provided by the PU will be reduced.

In essence, the car will not maintain the reached speed but will level off downwards.

A double waste of power.

"None" Mode

For this map, we make a separate discussion.

Here, the goal is solely to recharge the battery as quickly as possible.

This mode is, in all respects, an extreme measure.

The car is made slow in all phases, both in acceleration and top speed.

In essence, we will have a "sitting duck," an easy target for rivals to overtake.

Although it is true that deactivating the hybrid system makes battery recharge very fast, it is equally true that it is a gross mistake to think you can first abuse the battery and then resort to the "None" mode.

However, it can be useful in particular moments, like before a pit stop or at the end of the race.

In this case, you can also give the worn rear tires and battery a break.

Battery Recharge During a Pit Stop

Just like in real technical regulations, the energy accumulated in the battery CANNOT be increased by more than 100 kJ during a pit stop in the race.

In this comparative frame made in Silverstone’s pit lane, one of the longest in the championship, we can see how, while in F1 23 you could recover 12% energy, in F1 24 it stops at 1%!

More than the 100 kJ prescribed by the regulations, but less than F1 23.

Therefore, if before the pit stop was also aimed at recharging the battery a little, in F1 24 you can no longer exploit the pit moment.

Another reason to pay maximum attention on track to strategic and efficient ERS use.

It is evident that understanding and perfectly managing the PU can make a difference both in qualifying and in the race.

Always having a charged battery ready to support you for an attack or defense means having a crucial arrow in your quiver.

Well, this blog post about everything you need to know about ERS in F1 24 comes to an end.

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See you soon and when in the doubt, flat out!

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