F1 teams to abandon KERS in 2010

2010 F1 season

KERS is legal for 2010 but the teams may not use it

KERS is legal for 2010 but the teams may not use it

All bar one of F1’s 13 teams have agreed not to use KERS in 2010.

This comes after the 2010 F1 rules published by the FIA yesterday indicated they may continue to use the energy recovery technology next year.

Representatives of all 13 teams – the FOTA eight plus the previously suspended Force India and Williams, and the three newcomers Manor, Campos Meta 1 and USF1 – attended a FOTA Technical Working Group meeting in Valencia yesterday. (See here for a list of representatives)

All bar one of the teams are believed to have committed to not running KERS in 2010. The decision will now go to the F1 Commission to be considered.

It is not known which of the teams opposed the decision. Earlier this year Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali criticised BMW for standing in the way of an agreement that could have prevented KERS being introduced. Although they are set to quit F1 at the end of the year, BMW is understood to have submitted an application for next season in the hope of selling their team, and they are still listed on the FOTA website.

Read more: F1 2010 rules: KERS to stay

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77 comments on F1 teams to abandon KERS in 2010

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  1. Could it be McLaren?

    • mp4-19b said on 20th August 2009, 19:21

      hope its mclare. merc have invested like hell into kers & its just paying off, but ferrari & max don’t seem to like it. hence the decision.

      • John H said on 20th August 2009, 21:25

        It’s not McLaren. Whitmarsh has already said before they won’t run it even if it’s in the regs for sporting reasons.

        • John H said on 20th August 2009, 21:35

          “….. McLaren and Mercedes’ position is that we believe we have come this far and should continue with KERS but, with the spirit of cooperation that exists within F1 now with FOTA, we accept not using vetoes to block these things.”

          All the teams bar one didn’t want KERS in 2008 in the initial meetings at Silverstone in ’07 (I’m not talking about BMW here) – Williams were the only team not wanting to abandon it so I think they are prime candiates this time around.

          • NDINYO said on 21st August 2009, 10:26

            what’s with Whitmarsh? Does he believe he is running a charity? Or is engaged in some sort of popularity contest? Can somebody remind him this is a cut throat competition and if he gets an advantage he should utilize it to the full! I wish Ron could return. This guy just drives me up the wall with his kids-glove approach.

      • pSynrg said on 21st August 2009, 19:32

        I just agree with you NDINYO, spot on!

        Whitmarsh just seems to be hell bent on being the most agreeable person in F1. At the expense of McLaren???

    • it is obvious why all the teams are abandoning it, because of the ban of refueling so the fuel tank should be double the size leaving no space for the KERS

  2. gabal said on 20th August 2009, 18:45

    I wonder who could that be – my guess is Williams as FOTA teams stick together and Williams is eager to try its flywheel system.

  3. Steph90 said on 20th August 2009, 18:47

    Whitmarsh has just been saying how kers is an advantage and they clearly have the best system anyway. Williams previously said they wanted it at some point but haven’t mentioned it since and could just be this season and they don’t have the biggest of budgets for it.

  4. TommyB said on 20th August 2009, 18:49

    It’s surely either Williams or Mclaren

  5. mp4-19b said on 20th August 2009, 18:51

    anything that gives mclaren a technical advantage over ferrari will be banned. this is no longer a sport, its a farce.

  6. Sush Meerkat said on 20th August 2009, 18:52

    if the hype is to be believed, its Williams, their Flywheel system should have an advantage over other KERS.

  7. djdaveyp said on 20th August 2009, 19:02

    Does anybody else think that FOTA may start to crumble now? I think that FOTA has done what it set out to do and they needed to be that united to get Mosley out. Now they have tailored the concorde agreement etc. some teams may find it has served its purpose. If this is the case, maybe McLaren are the team wanting to run KERS next season, as they have the best system and a huge investment in it.

    Personally, I think that if one of the teams run KERS next season, and starts winning races, the other teams will follow suit, especially with the increased weight limit, it is going to be much more of an advantage, and could make up quite a bit of time at the beginning of the race when they are heavy on fuel!

    • mp4-19b said on 20th August 2009, 19:05

      This might be the beginning of the end of FOTA. I absolutely agree on the point you make about kers.

    • mp4-19b said on 20th August 2009, 19:25

      One thing is very clear.FIA is a fickle-headed organization. They must be ashamed of themselves.

    • I think it may be Mclaren too. They clearly have the best KERS system and if they can win with it this year, how good could they be next year??

      KERS should have been made compulsory anyway. I wish they FIA would stop all this “optional” business. Everyone should have it or nobody should have it. The words “two tier championship” spring to mind…..

  8. @mp4-19b

    It’s not just Ferrari who want to get rid of KERS, all but one of the teams, for everyone except McLaren its basically been a waste of money and resource, could well be 2 teams who want to keep it for next year, considering Williams are spending a lot of time and energy on their system, i look forward to seeing how well they’ll do with their KERS :)

    • mp4-19b said on 20th August 2009, 19:19

      yes i’m also looking forward to their revolutionary design. but as far as mercedes & norbert haug are concerned, they’ll be fuming. this decision is wrong & doesn’t do any good to promote the so called “green tech” that f1 plans to adopt. A kers car has just won a grand prix & the next thing we hear is its banned.

      • Toby Bushby said on 21st August 2009, 4:55

        But it’s not banned. You’ve been told this once already by Mark Hitchcock.

        mp4-19b, let’s make it clear – KERS is not banned in 2010….

    • Not just Mclaren – I’m entirely sure Ferrari would have a lot less points under their belt if they didn’t have KERS.

  9. UnicornF1 said on 20th August 2009, 19:16

    oh no… they should keep KERS
    …it’s ridiculus to throw away so much research and money, at least the ones that tried it.

  10. 1994fanatic said on 20th August 2009, 19:26

    Give them some time to figure KERS out and in a few years they will be very efficient. This will then give road cars a more green footprint. The world will be saved by F1! Mark my words. I’m running for president after next election so keep me in mind my fellow americans. HEMPFIELD FOOTBALL RULES

  11. Alistair said on 20th August 2009, 19:41

    I don’t like KERS. It makes for artificial starts, overtaking, and defending. Of course, these things are already somewhat artificial, given that a better car is better able to do these things. But a driver could always make a difference. Take the master of overtaking (and everything else), Lewis Hamilton. Recall his many stellar passes of the last few years: remember when he out-braked Kimi’s Ferrari at Monza 07, when Lewis was so far back on the straight that he wasn’t even able to use the slip-stream! That was a mega pass. If Lewis had simply made the move because of his pass-button, then the move wouldn’t be regarded anywhere near as highly. I would much rather have just a few genuine passes in a race than lots of artificial ones. That’s one of the reasons I prefer F1 to NASCAR.

    KERS removes more of the skill of the driver, as was the way with launch control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, etc. And the received view, among F1 aficionados, is that these things were detrimental to the sport. KERS might soon be seen that way. Moreover, KERS is ultimately self-defeating as a means of improving the racing. KERS has been interesting, so far this season, because very few teams have it. If every car had KERS, they would have to run it to the same power and time specs. The only difference would be the weight of the device itself. If all the cars had KERS, they would all use it in the same way. If one driver was using KERS to overtake, the other would use KERS to defend. The ‘battle’ would then be who had best deployed/saved their KERS. That ‘battle’ doesn’t strike me as very interesting. Not only do just a few teams have KERS now, but those who have it are the teams who were underperforming this year. If only the best teams have KERS (which might be true for the rest of this season) then this gives them a further advantage over cars than which they’re already faster. So this compounds the problem of overtaking, at least with respect to the lesser teams having any real chance. Furthermore, I doubt it would be best, in terms of safety, if every car had KERS at the start. Imagine the chaos of twenty cars each suddenly having different spurts of speed and moving around much more than usual.

    I think that the guys who have posted above are correct when they say that FOTA will crumble. It always seemed doomed to failure to me. There are too many competing interests. Sure, they can all agree on some things, such as getting a larger slice of the cake: that’s why the breakaway threat had some credence. But the rules and regulations will always stand to advantage or disadvantage some teams over others. McLaren have built a great KERS device; Ferrari, a good one; and Renault, BMW, etc., have failed. So, how and why are they all going to agree on a common KERS policy, when it greatly advantages some teams and greatly disadvantages others? If I were in charge of McLaren, I would, obviously, want to keep my KERS device. As a McLaren fan, I also want KERS to stay. As a F1 fan, however, I want KERS banned. Such is the paradox of KERS.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 20th August 2009, 20:32

      Imagine the chaos of twenty cars each suddenly having different spurts of speed and moving around much more than usual.

      From a spectator point of view, that sounds pretty good.

      If every car had KERS, they would have to run it to the same power and time specs.

      But they would still be able to use it at different points of each lap, so you overtake me going up the Kemmel Straight, I overtake you going into the Bus Stop. Sounds good to me.

      McLaren have built a great KERS device; Ferrari, a good one; and Renault, BMW, etc., have failed.

      If you read back on the turbo/ground effects era, exactly the same was true then, Some cars were great; others less so. But why should that be a reason to legislate against differentiation?

      If only the best teams have KERS (which might be true for the rest of this season) then this gives them a further advantage over cars than which they’re already faster. So this compounds the problem of overtaking, at least with respect to the lesser teams having any real chance.

      Depends what you mean by greater and lesser teams. So far this season two of the ‘middling’ teams are the mighty Ferrari and MacLaren. And hey, this is F1 racing., if you want every car to be equal to each other, try F2 or IRL.
      I apologise if my comments read tersely negatively, they are not vindictive or personal. I just think you are wrong.

    • todd said on 21st August 2009, 3:04

      remember when massa came from 3rd to 1st by driving around the outside of him in hungary?

      anyway, i think its a shame they are dropping it, if every team had kers there’d be none of these crazy starts or hard to overtake moments.

      the thing is KERS is one of those systems that car manufacturers are using, its still new and in it’s infancy, and it’s one of those technical exercises that differentiates f1 from GP2 and other open wheel events.

    • NDINYO said on 21st August 2009, 15:21

      Formula 1 to me is driver skill managing technology – whatever the technology. Let me explain – for 60 years, automobile technology has been internal-combustion-centric. As new technologies such as electric cars and hydrogen will start dominating the roads, the Formula 1 car will follow suit. These technologies by their very nature demand to be harnessed by computerization meaning the future Formula 1 will be a-lot more automated than the highest levels of automation available now. One day in the very near future, traction control, KERS, adjustable-suspension systems etc etc will be the norm on Formula 1 tracks and ordinary roads.

      What is my point? My point is that it is futile to discourage technological development on account that it dampens driver skill. Driver skill has been and will always be the skill to harness and exploit technology. Just because technology will automate almost everything doesn’t mean motor sports fans will cease going to races. What the new technology brings is new sets of driver skills that were not relevant in years past. Since we cannot stop technology developing, we should embrace these new skill sets that will be required from drivers. For those of us in transition periods, this increased automation will be discomforting – but visit the http://www.F1Fanatic.co.world of 2100 and the blog will be lively as ever even if driver skill sets then will mainly mean reaction speeds to pushing launch control buttons, overtake buttons etc :)

  12. If one team is planning to run KERS then the rest of the teams will, too. I think if Mclaren were really planning to not use it next year they would have dropped it from their package already. I seem to remember they were surprised other teams had given up on the technology so quickly. They were proved right at the last race. Ferrari, too.

    • They were proved right at the last race. Ferrari, too.

      I honestly think what KERS proved up to now, is it represents an advantage when not all teams are using it.

      I cannot see what advantage could represent using KERS if all the teams use it.

      It will more dificult to overtake, and the system is some kind of driver aid at the start of the race.

    • I don’t think the fact that McLaren haven’t stopped using KERS this year means they plan to use it next year. McLaren have said they intend to stick with the FOTA agreement to drop KERS next year even though they have the best system.

      Martin Whitmarsh also said they wouldn’t drop it for this year as the car was developed around KERS and so overall it gives a benefit, also if they dropped KERS now they would have to redesign the whole car.


  13. I would suggest the team is Williams. Sam Michael was adamant that kers is here to stay during his Q&A session with bloggers last month.

  14. Yes it’s Williams. They are developing their own system.

  15. Hallard said on 20th August 2009, 21:01

    Im sick of KERS. It contradicts some of the current objectives of the sport (i.e. saving money and increasing passing). Other than the first lap of the race, KERS is used defensively to prevent overtakig more than anything. Even though I applaud McLaren for making it work so well, I’ll be happy if we can get rid of it.

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