Ten years ago, at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was the first driver in Formula One to win a race with a hybrid engine. The Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) was the first step towards the electrification of Power Units in Formula One.
What makes the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix the first hybrid victory in F1?
The 2009 Formula One regulations gave teams the chance to add a hybrid component to their powertrains - the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, known by its acronym KERS.
Today's regulations make a hybrid Power Unit mandatory; however, back in 2009, it was up to the teams to decide if they wanted to use KERS. Both Brawn and Red Bull, the two teams that had won the opening races of 2009, opted to run a conventional engine. However, Mercedes-Benz had developed a hybrid system that McLaren-Mercedes was running in 2009.
So, when Lewis won the Hungarian Grand Prix on 26 July, it was the first ever victory for a hybrid Formula One car. Indeed, KERS played an instrumental role in Lewis' race: he made the decisive overtake on Mark Webber for second place with the help of KERS.
When race leader Fernando Alonso retired a few laps later, Lewis took the lead and took his 10th grand prix win - and the first hybrid win in the sport's history.