F1 News, Views and Reviews

Williams Admits KERS Vital For F1 Future

Sir Frank Williams, the owner and founder of the Williams F1 Team has said he believes the use and implementation of the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) onto Formula One cars will be vital for the future of the sport.

The KERS systems, which provide a power boost to aid overtaking from power retained and recycled from braking, were legalised last season and only used by Ferrari and McLaren, the leading two teams who struggled significantly with the systems.  Indeed, the champions of 2009 Brawn and the runners up Red Bull Racing did not use the costly and heavy systems, systems which Ferrari say cost them the title.

For 2010 the teams in FOTA said they would not use the systems, and there has been a gentlemens agreement not to use them but it looks like they could be returned for 2011, with a compulsory sticker.

Williams invested heavily in a KERS manufacturing company and their cars carry a Hybrid Power logo, suggesting their work on KERS, which now appears on some high end road cars including the new Audi A8, is not finished yet.

“I’ve always believed that Formula 1 needs a totem, to avoid – which we have done so far – the attention of unco-operative members of the press who don’t follow Formula 1 very actively,” he said.

“I use the word totem, but to explain what I mean in very general terms – it’s quite the wrong word because KERS is a very meaningful thing for emission control and it does save power.

“It’s expensive, it’s difficult technically and it’s a big swallow, but sooner or later Formula 1’s going to get some aggro from one of these bodies that causes aggro.”

“We can’t use our own KERS because that’s a flywheel, which takes up more room, and the only place to put it is behind the driver,” he explained.

“If the fuel tank is three times the size it was two years ago, and you want to put KERS in it, you’ll have your car longer than a London bus… So we’ll use it elsewhere.”


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