F1 – Teams Vote Down KERS Again

kersWord is now coming out that the teams met over the Singapore GP weekend and voted to not use KERS in 2010. If you recall, this is the second such vote taken this season as FOTA voted to not use KERS in 2010 earlier this year.

We were all wondering what would become of the system, but it was given new hope in the form of the finally released technical regulations for next year, which increased the weight minimum from 605kg to 620kg. This move was initially made so that KERS could be implemented without going over the weight limit.

Now that the teams have voted not to use KERS in 2010, the only thing that will add weight to the car will be the expanded fuel tank. But clearly, that won’t eat up 15kg. Will we see teams like Ferrari and McLaren running 15kg of ballast? How green is that?

Clearly, Max Mosley will have a comment about this in the next few days. This has been Max’s pet project, but it has roundly been criticized by everybody involved. Main points of contention are:

-There is nothing ‘green’ about KERS since you have to throw away the batteries after use
-KERS is not a road relevant technology
-It has not increased the excitement of racing, since KERS is mostly used by a heavier KERS equipped car to stay in front of a lighter non-KERS car.

If you recall, Max picked a winner in this development battle before the season started, stating that Williams’ flywheel system was the best way to go. At present, Williams has yet to deploy their KERS iteration for a race, while the chemical storage systems that Max eschewed have been used fairly effectively by Ferrari and McLaren.

The door is not closed for KERS use beyond 2010, but the teams have elected to forgo that development for next season. This may be very helpful for the new F1 teams as they will not have to bankroll the development and testing of KERS on their fledgling new car designs. And now they have 15kg of additional wiggle room when it comes to value engineering their cars.

Open Paddock would like to thank the F1 teams for renewing their stance against the use of KERS. As fans of the sport, we prefer our racing without such gimmicks. Now if the teams could vote out that ridiculous option tire rule…..

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4 Thoughts to “F1 – Teams Vote Down KERS Again

  1. autogyro

    Kers is directly relevant to road car technology.
    There are systems awaiting development that need F1 Kers for survival in the current bankrupt car making industry.
    It is essential for rapid development in the revolution of electric vehicles that is happening under the noses of the public.
    It is time the motoring media recognized this and stopped using it’s support of 19th century IC technology to continue the delusion they live under.
    Kers used by all cars would result in different applications by different drivers for different purposes, an additional variable of interest.
    Fota teams have agreed to stop using Kers because they have already used the technology in road cars and wish to prevent other superior systems from reaching the market place in competition with their systems.
    It is why Fota was formed and why Vatanen was recruited.

  2. Sorry autogyro, but I totally disagree. KERS is not relevant to road cars. It relies on rapid charging and discharging of batteries to increase acceleration of an already 18000rpm engine. While it shares some features that are similar to some of the newer technologies such as hybrid, e-rev, plug in hybrid and full electric, there is far too little of value to road cars to be learned from KERS.

    The system is massively wasteful with the batteries getting tossed after every use. The application for the batteries is limited to the unique needs of F1 and will not be beneficial to road cars in any way.

    Further, the FIA was not continuing in its plans to allow the teams to increase output from KERS, as well as allowing other sources of input into the system such as heat recovery. The teams spent massive amounts of money developing a system that has had a negative impact on the racing, and some of the teams have yet to even run their systems once during a race.

    I think you are reading far too much into the motives of FOTA, the manufacturers and Ari. This was a decision based on the fact that the teams got little value in return for their massive investments.

  3. Interesting, KERS is similar to the EESTOR system that works as a battery/capacitor. More can be found here:


    Also interestingly, the entire effort is a complete waste of time and effort. The current high price of oil is undermining the developed world’s economies. It’s a race with the devil and the devil has already won. A clue is the number of manufacturers pulling out of ‘works’ cars. They are all losing money and most will be out of business in a few years.

    The ‘Age of the Auto’ is coming to an ignominious end.

    Peak oil is real and in dollar terms took place in 1998. Don’t believe me look at Energy Information Agency data; it’s hard to miss. Oil was most available at the end of that year, priced @ $12 a barrel. The price of crude has multiplied 600% since then. Productive output is not profitable with oil over $35 – 40.

    Amplifying declining availability is the ‘Net Export’ issue; countries that produce crude @ high prices can afford to consume as well. The result is an accelerating decline in exports that results in lower availability and higher relative energy prices overall.

    There will always be rich dudes so there will be Formula 1. The race fans will have to bike to the races. Cool!

    Hopefully, Rubens can win one of the next two races and outscore Button by one point.

  4. Steve,

    Thanks for the economic look into the “great struggle” involving oil and its effect on cars and more importantly things like F1. I agree that the KERS being used by the teams is a complete waste of time. I think the first manufacturer that gets off of fossil fuel will survive, but the technology being used in Formula 1 will do nothing in terms of helping these companies reach this goal.

    As far as your title predictions, could not agree more. I would rather the boy Vettel win, but if it cannot be him, then I will be pulling for Rubens to pip the Brit. I think Button’s second half of the year has shown he is an unworthy champion because he lacks consistancey. It is one thing to win 6 or seven races when you have such a distinct advantage. However, Button has shown he cannot compete when everyone is brought to his level. Even if he wins the title, he will have a near impossible time repeating next year when the big boys are back.

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