The Chinese Formula 4 championship is planning to switch from its first-generation Mygale car to the manufacturer’s second-generation chassis next year, and to introduce hybrid components.
The MiTime Sports company (which is part of of the Mingtai Investment Development Group) that runs Chinese F4 and also the Ningbo track where the series is racing this weekend shared their future plans on Thursday.
Mygale had already made an announcement in April that they would be providing a new fleet of cars for Chinese F4’s 2024 season, and that those would be Gen2 chassis and be powered by 1.3-litre Renault engines. That news had come three-and-a-half weeks after a similar deal was announced with the yet-to-begin Indian F4 championship.
An example of the halo-shod Mygale M21-F4 was then sent out to China, and development work has been taking place with Oreca to have a hybrid-spec version of the car ready for Chinese F4.
When Renault Sport announced it would be supplying engines for the second generation of F4 cars, it ruled out homologating its engine to be a hybrid even if the future chassis were designed to accomodate electrical power systems.
But the company’s customer racing director Benoit Nogier also told Formula Scout at the time that “because we work together with Oreca on these matters, Oreca is preparing a hybrid system as well”.
Earlier this week, the World Motor Sport Council approved “annual updates to the technical and homologation regulations for the second-generation cars” in F4.
MiTime Sports said their Mygales will be fitted with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and also a Kinetic Energy Recovery System. KERS was introduced in Formula 1 in 2009 and involves recovering energy from braking that is usually lost as heat by ‘translating’ it into electrical energy and then storing it for later use.
The expectation from MiTime Sport is that laptimes will improve by five to six seconds with the new Gen2 car compared to the old Gen1 one that has been in use since the inaugural season in 2015, and that on top of that the hybrid system will offer a 20-horsepower boost that can be activated using a push-to-pass button on the steering wheel.
MiTime also said that an example of the hybrid-fitted Gen2 car will be seen on track at Ningbo this weekend.
Smart Life Racing Team’s Ruiqi Liu currently leads the 2023 Chinese F4 standings after winning twice at the Zhuhai season opener. After Ningbo, the series heads to the Pingtan street circuit, the brand new Tianfu International Circuit and then concludes with two races on the support bill of the Macau Grand Prix.