The come back of KERS technology to F1 2011 season is set to be more of a success than through its last aborted effort, teams believe, even though the systems will not be any more powerful than they were in 2009.
Formula 1 technical head agreed at the Canadian GP that an unpaid agreement not to run KERS this year would be dropped at the end of this season. It means that all teams are now free to run the energy recovery systems from the start of next year.
Even though a offer by Ferrari and Renault to boost the power output of KERS from 400KJ to 800KJ to make it more gorgeous had to be go down after Mercedes-Benz said it would only support KERS returning under the old rules, and more increase in the minimum weight of cars to 640kg proposed for next season should still guarantee KERS get a good improvement.
And another reason why the system unsuccessful last time was as using the heavy systems pushed teams above the-then weight limit of 605kg, which meant there was minimum advantage from the KERS. For 2010, with modify tyres, better for weight distribution, and the higher weight limit proposed by the Technical Working Group , the weight factor of KERS should not be a handicap at all.
Stefano Domenicali – Ferrari team Principal said: “One of the important things that were achieved by the teams was to have a higher weight for the car, which will for sure help KERS to be used. “We would have preferred to have had much more energy, but there was not the consensus to do that. So the kind of intermediate solution that has been taken is at least enough to go for it and see if that system will perform. We will go for it that is for sure.”
Ferrari, Williams and Renault have previously set that they will run KERS 2011 season, with other outfits now evaluating it.
Mercedes GP teams Principal Ross Brawn consider all teams will have had to make their mind up in the next month about what their plans would be. “I think the commitment will be to go with or without – we won’t try and support both directions,” he said. “We are still looking very carefully at all the aspects of KERS to make a final decision, and we are in the process of evaluating.
“In about a month to six weeks, certain decisions have to be made on the car that means you will be losing time if you reverse out of them.”
“It is the same scenario as previous years, in certain areas it is an advantage and certain areas it is not an advantage. It is not a black and white decision.” Ross Brawn added.
Ross Brawn also trust that KERS would give an extra advantage beyond the boost that is set to come from the introduction of moveable rear wings – which alone are set to increase straight-line speeds by 15km/h.
“It can be an accumulative benefit,” he said. “If you use the wing and KERS, then you will get the benefit of both. There is no reason why the wing will negate KERS – because you don’t only use KERS to improve straight-line speed, you can also use it to improve down-force.”
“It is important costs are controlled,” said Brawn. “It was quite an investment in previous years and perhaps the climate is a bit different now. We have to be careful about the levels of investment necessary for KERS. It is a good initiative but we need to make sure it fits with F1.”
And although Renault says it is delighted that its fight to get KERS back has been a success, team principal Eric Boullier has expressed some frustrations at the fact money now has to be spent optimising the older restricted systems rather than embracing more powerful technology.
“At Renault, we were a strong supporter with Ferrari,” Boullier told AUTOSPORT. “We offered to raise the level of energy to 800KJ, to allow more work on KERS for the future, and to have a better show – because you can use twice more the KERS system during a lap.
“It would have been good for performance and good for F1’s image, but the biggest concern was that Mercedes-Benz had a different technology and they could not do it [double the power with their system in the timeframe], and they did not want to invest their money on an 800KJ system.
“So now it will cost money to everybody – as we need to continue to develop the 2009 KERS. That is stupid, because we will spend more money to make something work better, rather than changing the regulations and making it easy.”