At the end of last year Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo asserted:
There is nothing in common between F1′s KERS and road car KERS.
Vindicating those words, the same week that the FOTA teams, led by Ferrari, insisted they would not use KERS in 2010, it has been revealed that Ferrari intends to use hybrid power in its future road cars.
It’s hard to imagine Ferrari supporting the abandonment of KERS while working on a line of models which have applications for F1-derived KERS technology. The Ferrari patents show several proposals that differ greatly from the energy recovery systems used in F1.
So has KERS failed to drive development of similar green technologies in road cars? That outcome was foreseen by, among other people, Toyota, who described the FIA’s system as ‘primitive’ and hasn’t used KERS this year.
I’m not against the principle of KERS – it’s very important to put in front of the teams research that benefits the environment – but the way it is at the moment is a mistake. It has to be a package looking ahead and we have three or four years to work on the whole engine/KERS package.
In April last year Max Mosley insisted that KERS: “is set to revolutionise F1. It will make the sport at once more environmentally friendly, road relevant, and at the cutting edge of future automotive technology.”
Instead it looks like a technological backwater destined for the scrapheap.
Update: Thanks to persempre who found this link to Ferrari’s patent submission. Interesting reading!
Read more: Problems with KERS and its impact on F1