How F1's Massively Complex MGU-H Works - Wheel Sports

How F1’s Massively Complex MGU-H Works

The MGU-H, or the Motor Generator Unit-Heat, is an important component in the hybrid power unit (HPU) of a Formula One (F1) car. The MGU-H works by converting heat energy from the car’s turbocharger into electrical energy, which is then stored in the car’s battery and used to power the MGU-K (the Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic), a second component of the HPU. This system plays a critical role in optimizing the performance and efficiency of the car, helping F1 teams to maximize their competitiveness and success on the track.

The MGU-H is located in close proximity to the turbocharger and is connected to the car’s crankshaft through a complex system of gears and shafts. It is designed to operate at high speeds, up to 100,000 revolutions per minute, and to withstand the intense heat and stress that is generated by the car’s turbocharger.


When the turbocharger is spinning, it generates heat energy, which is harnessed by the MGU-H and converted into electrical energy. The electrical energy is then sent to the car’s battery for storage and later use. The MGU-H can also act as a generator, providing power to the MGU-K when needed.

The MGU-K, located near the car’s differential, is responsible for recovering energy that is normally lost during braking. When the driver applies the brakes, the car’s kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy by the MGU-K, which is then stored in the battery. This stored energy can then be used to power the MGU-K during acceleration, providing a significant boost in performance and efficiency.

One of the key benefits of the MGU-H and MGU-K system is that it allows the engine to operate at a more efficient level, reducing the amount of fuel that is needed to power the car. This leads to a decrease in fuel consumption and a reduction in the car’s carbon emissions, making the HPU a critical component in F1’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainability and eco-friendliness.

In addition to improving the car’s performance and efficiency, the MGU-H and MGU-K system also provides teams with additional strategic options. By controlling the deployment of electrical energy, teams can make strategic decisions about when and how to use the stored energy to maximize their competitiveness on the track.

The MGU-H is an essential component of the hybrid power unit in a Formula One car, providing critical performance and efficiency benefits while also allowing teams to make strategic decisions about how to deploy stored energy. With its high-speed operation, heat-resistance, and complex system of gears and shafts, the MGU-H is a true engineering marvel, playing a critical role in the exciting and innovative world of F1 racing.