Williams defy FOTA over KERS in 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Williams hasn't used KERS yet but says it will race it in 2010
Williams hasn't used KERS yet but says it will race it in 2010

Williams was only re-admitted into the F1 teams’ association two weeks ago. Now, having said it will use a Kinetic Energy Recovery System on its car in 2010, it once again finds itself in opposition to most of its fellow teams.

This isn’t going to win them any friends – at least, not outside the FIA. And it’s going to increase their development costs as well, at a time when they’re losing sponsors and changing engine partners. So why have they done it?.

KERS in 2010

Unlike McLaren, Ferrari, BMW and Renault, Williams have not yet used KERS in an F1 race.

It’s not clear whether the changes to F1’s rules for 2010 will make KERS more or less desirable. But there are some arguments why it might be of benefit.

The minimum weight limit of the cars has been raised by 15kg, which should in theory make it less disadvantageous for teams to use KERS. With cars having to go a full race distance on a single tank of petrol, KERS could play a useful role in reducing fuel consumption, meaning they don’t have to carry as much. Of course, this effect would vary between tracks.

KERS has many detractors, but even they must admit the technology has had some success, helping Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen to victories in Hungarian and Spa respectively. And we have seen some excellent KERS-assisted passes, particularly at the start of races.

The other F1 teams had collectively agreed not to use KERS in 2010 because of the cost of researching and building the devices. Although Williams hasn’t raced its KERS yet, it has developed a flywheel-based system which is different to the electrical systems seen in F1 so far.

Why do Williams want KERS?

The timing of Williams’ announcement is such that any teams that wish to join them in running KERS next year will have to do so sooner rather than later. A car not designed to use KERS will be difficult to adapt for it later, especially with severe restrictions on testing in place.

Williams’s position is hard to understand. Previously they have strongly advocated cost reductions and were the first team to break ranks with FOTA and support the FIA’s hated budget cap proposal.

It looks like a political move – it certainly isn’t the first time in recent history Williams have supported what the FIA wants against the wishes of the other teams.

Williams’s announcement came one day after the FIA said it would take steps to equalise engine performance in 2010. That may give them an added incentive to seek KERS to enhance their performance.

Are Williams supporting the FIA for political reasons? Should the teams drop KERS in 2010? Have your say in the comments.

114 comments on “Williams defy FOTA over KERS in 2010”

  1. KERS is a great idea implemented terribly.

    The FIA came up with it to make F1 more road relevant in regards to green technology and to push hybrid tech forward.

    This won’t happen so long as the FIA are restricting KERS to a tiny 80hp.

    I’d like to see teams to be able to develop it completely freely, with as much added horsepower as they want.

    1. mmm, maybe you are right. I think they could also benefit from power storage developments to reduce fuel use.

    2. Agreed, much better idea to spend millions on applicable technology like KERS, than on the aero that makes racing boring.

      1. Hey you sound just like Uncle Max!

      2. Amen!

        First KERS is limited, now engines are being equalised. Meanwhile teams are saying that they have “only scratched the surface” of the current aero rules. F1 is going in completely the wrong direction with respect to the cars in this sense.

        As for Williams, well look at Mosley’s precious privateers now! Purely political move by a company that made an investment (they own a KERS company) that, for the wrong reasons, is turning out to be a mistake. If this brings KERS back to F1 next year, then it’s all for the better, but that doesn’t mean Williams should be praised!

    3. Looking at the rules and how KERS was suppossed to join F1, it should have been done the oppossite way: The first year, let teams take more advantage of KERS and support it’s development, letting higher power out or for longer periods.
      That would show it’s potential and let everyone see it’s advantages, instead of making it limited to bigger teams who are able to spend lots of money to only have a slight advantage at the start.

      1. I agree KERS should be less limited. But disagree on more and more freedom over everything… let me explain:

        Someone once told me that Formula 1 was less revolutionary than their motorsport because it restricted so much, when I pointed out their motorsport required the cars to be road legal… I question how that revolutionised anything, rather was just an implementation of pre-existing costly parts.

        Formula 1 is called “Formula” I believe for a reason, it relies on rules. These rules subsequently push development in certain directions, rather than building rocket cars. If it was free for all it would be madness and also not so revolutionary. A level-ish playing field on engines is important. Engines have the cheapest and easiest and biggest benefit to speed and acceleration, but we don’t really need faster cars or development on their power – unless it falls in line with other benefits…

        Will be interesting to see who gets what mpg out of a F1 car next season whilst retaining power. Over a whole race it becomes a much bigger factor than 1 lap more before pitting. Currently 1/3rd of a tank makes a second or more difference per lap. A car carrying 95% of an entire race worth of fuel will surely have a huge advantage. Anyone capable of doing some maths now using this years lap times and fuel weights?

        1. I believe the move to ban refueling has come at the right time. When car manufacturers are pushing the limits of fuel efficiency, it would be very beneficial to the industry as well as the sport if race cars are made more efficient.This could possibly be an incentive for major car makers to stay in the sport.

          It would be absolutely fantastic if Audi enters a TDI into F1..do you guys reckon that will ever happen? They won Le Mans with it..why can’t they make a switch to F1? Are there rules against diesel powered cars in F1?

          Its food for thought huh?

          1. Are there rules against diesel powered cars in F1?

            Yes, the rules state that the engine must be a 2.8ltr naturally aspirated V8 petrol engine…

          2. i think they should alow a 2.8ltr natrually aspirated desil engine to compete (no turbo) and see if audi can make that work as well as a petrol engine. Wouldn’t that be good??

          3. it appears i need to learn how to spell whilst typing quickly…. naturally….diesel….

  2. In the long run, an effective KERS could be a great bit of technology. We do need these ideas to be developed for the road, and in sports terms, if Williams gets it right the other teams will have to follow.

  3. I don’t necessarily ban the use of kers, but the williams flywheel kers definitely needs to be outlawed. Its an outrageous concept. Its too dangerous * I don’t wanna see headless chickens!!

    1. If it is proven to be dangerous then I agree with you. If they can make it safe and reliable it seems to be a great idea.

    2. Why is it dangerous? Would be interested to know.

      1. Mp4-19b thinks it’s dangerous (and makes reference to ‘headless chickens’) because of his concerns over the positioning of the spinning flywheel.

        1. My car has a spinning flywheel. And the turbocharger impeller spins at tens of thousands of RPM. As such I am overrun with headless chickens…

      2. Hi Charlie

        Because McLaren didn’t invent it!

    3. Dear chap: just cos you says so don’t make it so.

      One expects that the high-quality engineers at Williams will have considered safety implications.

      1. I followed what was written about Williams KERS system and one of the reason they have delayed its introduction is safety. They have redesigned the systems casing and developed flywheel in such a way that in case of puncture of casing discs lose integrity and become carbon dust.

        One of the reasons why I think Williams is pushing with KERS introduction is they are so far the only team who have realistic chance of using its KERS technology outside F1. Representatives of London Underground visited Williams HQ and were really impressed with KERS and as far as I have heard they are thinking of implementing it on their trains.

    4. agreed, mp4-19b: fried and smoked chicken (cf. Kimi jumping out of his smoking car when his KERS shortened out it the wet) tastes much better.

    5. Stay away from anywhere with trams then, cos a lot of those use flywheels – and much larger ones than would be used in F1…

  4. Are the KERS rules for 2010 the same as this year? I have to say that I liked some of the KERS related proposals that were mooted earlier this year.

    I seem to remember that it was proposed that teams could use KERS either for a longer period during a lap (I think 12 seconds was mentioned) or have a greater increase in BHP for 6 seconds.

    1. That was the original plan for 2011. For 2011 KERS was even supposed to become mandatory.

      For 2013 the possibilities would again be increased.

      1. I think either all the cars should have it or none of them should, so mandatory KERS in 2011 appeals to me. It’s probably too late for all teams to develop it for next year anyway by now.

        1. Agreed 100% – Fisichella would have beaten Raikkonen in Belgium if the ferrari hadn’t had KERS

  5. its probably just a ruse to force mercedes or renault to give williams a nice shiny engine for 2010.

    1. if this is a political move, then you might be right

  6. Of curse, this effect would vary between tracks.

    kers might be a curse keith :P
    I don’t see Williams are doing this; why push to be back into FOTA when they aren’t going to comnply with the agreements? I don’t mind kers, but this clearly has more political ramifications than mechanical.
    I don’t think FOTA will start a row over this (hopefully) unless they viewed it as a serious threat for next year, but FOTA know they are stronger together. That said Williams is undermining this and they can’t expect to get their own way all of the time.

    1. I was brainwsahed by this article by Duncan: CURSE – Complicated way to Undermine Revenue, Safety and the Environment

      Have fixed it now :-)

  7. For me Kers only prevents the fastest cars overtaking the slower ones. Look at Force India in the last 2 races, they had the faster car but had no way of overtaking due to the Kers. If kers created more overtaking during the race then so be it, but at the moment there is still very little overtaking during the actual race. Having said that if Williams go with it then surely Mclaren and Ferrari will too as it is such an advantage at the start. I expect Kers will be on many cars next season.

    1. Well said. Other than the first lap, KERS prevents more overtaking than it encourages.

      1. You could also say that that’s caused by the following cars NOT having KERS.

        In the beginning of the season there was a great KERS car battle between Alonso and Hamilton.

        Alonso ran out his KERS defending against Hamilton and in the end Hamilton could use his remaining KERS energy to get past.

  8. I think this is a pretty smart move from Williams, at least from a raacing point of view. His car is not really competitive now, and it hasn’t been for a long time. He won’t be able to close the gap anytime soon if costs are not reduced drastically. I think that their use of KERS is a gamble that might pay off; as said, it will be very difficult to adapt 2010 cars to use KERS unless they start the project now. Maybe Williams is going to be the only car using it; it might be a flop and not help, they will keep having a non-competitive car, nothing will change. Or it might work wonders and they will be the only car using it, and they will finally be able to close the performance gap and be back at the top, something they need bad, specially now that they will probably lose Rosberg.

    1. But isnt the whole point of the sport to have a field of cars with same technology?

      If Williams decide to use KERS, this could easily encourage Ferrari and McLaren to probably design two sets of cars. One with KERS and one without – Ferrari can certainly afford it, and so can McLaren.

      The sole reason why McLaren and Ferrari decided to ban KERS was for the good of the sport.

  9. Good on them, they aren’t breaking any rules. Way to go Williams.

    1. what a load of —-, The williams team are the Jackie Stewart of the F1 teams.
      They whinge and moan, jump ship, hump Burnie and Max’s leg and then just after being re-accepted to the fota (who they shat on) they again cause dis-stabilization on the sport.
      So are we going to go thru the whole DD diffuser crap again in 2010!

      Yer—Way to go Williams!!!

      1. “So are we going to go thru the whole DD diffuser crap again in 2010”

        Let’s hope so.

  10. With all the talk of cutting cost by getting rid of KERS, one point has been missed. Williams have spent a considerable amount of money developing their system. Dropping KERS now would mean that a huge amount of money (and talent) was wasted. They must also believe that the work they have put in over the last year will yield a very useful system so I’m glad that they are sticking to their position.

    1. Good point – Williams have bought a company that is specialized in creating recoverable energy systems and renamed it Williams Hybrid Systems.

      The big question now is are Williams complied to accept all decisions FOTA made after Luca di Montezemolo kicked them out. Judging by this example they don’t.

  11. I think it is a political move by Williams.

    If they haven’t signed their engine deal for next year yet, which I understand to be the case, if they want an engine from one of the FOTA members such as Renault, then Renault or whoever could easily insert a clause in the contract saying Williams can’t use KERS, of course Williams may have decided to go with Cosworth.

    I remember reading that Williams had set up a separate company to develop it’s flywheel KERS as they thought it could be used outside of F1 such as on subway trains, does anyone know if they have managed to sell it to anyone yet or if it is simply not ready.

  12. I just think Frank is right on this one. the teams have blown so much money into KERS, they might as well keep it on and render the costs more effective. if they drop it it’s as if they threw the money out the window.

    Williams have invested a lot in KERS, especially that I have a feeling their flywheel system will put the rest to shame. He doesn’t want all the effort and time be locked away in a closet. So he will try to push for it, after all, the teams that don’t run KERS now have easy access to a system from Mercedes or Ferrari and even Renault…

    in the end, KERS has proven a success if designed and used properly, and with the increase in weight, and no fuel strategy… it might be very smart to push for its inclusion…

  13. i realy dont understand why mclaren and ferrari are dropping kers?, it seems like an atempt for them to make friends with other FOTA teams

  14. harv’s teams wanted to show they were cutting costs (possibly to get back at Max) and seem united esp if it was agreed when all the politics was happening but I really can’t remember exactly when it was agreed

  15. Just been reading through the comments and mp4 or anyone who knows about flywheel based kers, could you please explain it and how/if it is dangerous?

    1. Just watch this video & judge for yourself as to why its dangerous

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZD5ycWI0a8

      1. That’s not the only flywheel in an F1 car you know, there’s a huge ceramic one that lifts the clutch up inside the gearbox. And I assume it spins just as fast as the revs.

        1. Does that one spin at 30,000 rpm?

          1. not quite, but whats 12,000 RPM’s between headless chicken friends.

      2. I wouldnt say its necessarily unsafe, and we have to assume that the engineers have taken safety into account. That being said, it is positioned rather precariously in the car (if the animation is accurate), right next to the drivers head.

  16. Are Williams supporting the FIA for political reasons?

    It is definitely a political move of some kind. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had something to do with FIA and Mosley. But Williams has a grudge and continues to disagree without any moral explanation. I think his goal in F1 is to disagree and create problems. Whatever decisions are unanimously reached between majority of the teams(FOTA or not) he will simply chose the other side for the sake of it. Maybe FOTA should offer him to be the chairman , maybe then he would be happy.

    With cars having to go a full race distance on a single tank of petrol, KERS could play a useful role in reducing fuel consumption, meaning they don’t have to carry as much. Of curse, this effect would vary between tracks.

    This is a very good point. Which is even more reason why all teams should have the same technology. Either all for KERS, or not…

    But if Williams insists on being a pain then I hope their car ends up being last for the entire 2010.

    1. Which is even more reason why all teams should have the same technology. Either all for KERS, or not…

      They have choice, they (other teams) choose NOT to use it, what’s the problem?

      1. So you support diversity in F1 cars? Do you think it is good to have unclear and inconsistent rules? Or do you think F1 cars should have consistent and clear cut mandatory technical regulations?

        The only reason there is a technical choice is because of Mosleys incompetence, and his political goal. But this doesn’t make it right, and it certainly is not good for the sport.

        1. I got into F1 because it was cutting edge tech, it led the way. The rules are clear. You can use KERS. If you decide not to and get beaten by those who choose to, then its your fault for turning your back on new tech.

          I see nothing unclear about the rule saying that you can use KERS if you want to. And yes I like diversity, I don’t want a grid full of identical cars bar the paint job.

          1. Fair enough, I dont want identical cars either – but KERS makes a massive difference. For example, we have found out this year that if your car has KERS and you qualify in the top five, you can almost consider yourself on pole, because of the “magic” button. And that is a crack of s@#$ because it completely throws the concept of qualifying out of the door. We might as well just draw names from the box and randomly select who is on pole.

            In fact I wish all teams took on KERS for this very reason, or the use of KERS was prohibited during the start of the race.

            Furthermore, I think KERS should be made mandatory for all teams and its power output boosted by say 200%. This would make the KERS do what its suppose to, and will give everyone a chance to overtake.

            And honestly, I really doubt you would be thinking that you like diversity if the rules were a bit more flexible. I guarantee if that was the case you would be seeing one team on top more often than not. Technical consistency was put in place to prevent this from happening and to allow smaller teams to catch up. You cant have say two soccer teams, where one side has a rectangular goal and the other side has a circular goal.

          2. The problem with F1 nowadays is it is cutting edge with to many limitations. Williams was always more competitive when the rules were not so narrowly defined. Look at some of the innovations they came out with, they had a very effective ground effect package befor alot of the others, the developed the pneumatic suspension and integrated all the engine/transmission and ride cmputers into a seamless package that made them the class of the field for several years. This was because they rhought outside of the box alot. As the rules continue to be more anmre restrictive all the cars are becoming closer which some may say makes for a better show but in reality it doesnt.
            When the rules just define minimum weight, track deminsions and wing sizes and locarions then people are allowed to go into different directions and come up with different but equally competitive results. Pretty soon we may as well be like indycar and everyone run a Dallara chassis and then watch how interesting the racing isnt.

            If Williams thinks they have kers figured out and they can put it in the car and it be within the rules let them run with it. If it falls on its face well then thatnwill be the way it goes. Frank Williams can live with that.

        2. So you support diversity in F1 cars?

          I do! Diversity is absolutely part of what makes F1 great. Would you like all the cars to be identical like the lower formulas?

        3. How are the rules unclear? The use of KERS is the choice of the team. The FOTA decision to all abstene from their use is just an agreement netween current FOTA teams, NOT at that time Williams.

  17. I was under the impression that Williams were planning to market their KERS system commercially and had set up company to exploit the technology.

    I recall reading something about this last year… that they are planning to target the system at commercial vehicles such as trucks and public service vehicles.

    That being the case, they are hardly likely to stop using it and losing out on a potentially lucrative spin-off market.

    1. http://www.williamshybridpower.com/company/

      Hybrid company aquired by Williams

    2. Mark – good point, could well have something to do with that.

  18. Waiting for another off track action at the end of the season.

  19. “It keeps our sponsors in the game – Kers has the strong support of several of our sponsors.”- Frank Williams.

    A source at another team told me it was more of a commercial issue -Williams want to develop their hybrid system, which is unique among F1 teams in that it uses a flywheel to store the energy rather than a battery, and sell it outside F1

    link

    “I don’t mind saying that our budget for KERS is 10 per cent of our budget for aerodynamics and composite parts, so it’s not a huge amount of money and we see it as a fantastic investment into the future of the sport.” Adam Parr

    A href=”http://www.zimbio.com/Williams+Formula+1/articles/13/KERS+cost+not+problem+say+Williams+F1″>link

    Relocating Automotive Hybrid Power Limited to Grove, and rebranding it Williams Hybrid Power Limited, the team will continue the company’s work in developing a flywheel for potential use as the energy storage element of its KERS system. Williams is also exploring a number of other energy storage options.

    link

  20. why would Mclaren and Ferrari drop KERS when it clearly does give an advantage? they can afford it and its in the rules. A gentlemens agreement for the good of the sport just sounds so unlike F1! They should probably go back to designing a KERS car before its too late.

    1. Exactly. Can you name me any other sport that had a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ not to use something? It’s like have a agreement not to use running spikes because Mr. Bolt is too fast. So slow him down to give other a chance.

      This is why I believe F1 is fixed, or being fixed.

  21. Maybe Williams just knows that the KERS ban is not going to happen, and all of this is just to calm down and convice alarmed boards to approve next year’s F1 budgets (and then blame the evil FIA for being forced into unforeseen spending).

    We recently had a clue that teams can go to great lengths to get their parent companies to sign off budgets.

    That made me wondering (watch out the date, May 09, and remember that Magneti Marelli means Ferrari).

  22. The teams using KERS have all developed their systems using existing technology as a starting point – supercontuctors, batteries, motors etc., – and further developed it to F1 spec.

    I suspect that since Williams has shouldered the cost of developing a unique system, even purchasing the company responsible for the design, but haven’t perfected the technology yet, they will feel aggrieved if they are forced to chuck the whole lot in the bin, not to mention hugely out of pocket for the sport’s last true privateer team.

    I for one agree that KERS has the potential to become a great piece of kit, but the regulations as they stand don’t allow the teams to use its full potential.

    1. flywheel based KERS is also existing technology, it is not an invention Williams came up with.

      And seriously, when are they planning to use it? How do they expect to perfect it when they are not even testing it? Did they even try it on a Friday session?

      1. Patrick Head said in an interview that among safety issues weight distribution is what is preventing from implementing KERS. However, he also said that there are changes planed for next year to change the dimensions of the tires which will solve that problem.

  23. It could well be Williams having some common agenda with FIA. But I’d say if FIA is serious about KERS they should also drop the 6.6 seconds/lap limit.

  24. This statement from Williams is a strategic move. It is not to make any friends in FIA. It just serves the purpose of putting the other teams in a dilemma.

    Now all the other teams will again be in confusion, will there be KERS, won’t there be KERS?? Thus hampering the teams’ 2010 preparations.

    I will re-state my view which I have done so many times on this site in other posts, KERS IS WASTE. They are introducing a new technology costing a fortune and handicapping it with 6.6sec/400KJ/only front tyre rules.

    And knowing FIA’s incompetence, don’t expect them to relax the rules any soon. So better get rid of KERS.

    This statement by Williams would have had much more effect had it come after Kimi’s Spa win.

    Right after a non-KERS 1-2 on a power track, Monza, this statement lacks punch
    .

    1. There was a clear plan for KERS future laid out at the beginning of it? Did you mis that?

    2. Actually, Williams haven’t changed their stance at all. They kept saying that they plan to use KERS, the only difference now is they are readmitted into FOTA.

  25. The original KERS ban was in June, when KERS was a disaster, it was seen as just expensive and badly-placed ballast, and no-one thought that it could contribute to the racing. Since then McLaren and Ferrari have each won because of KERS, Renault has reintroduced it at some races, and BMW would reintroduce it if their aero development hadn’t modified the bodywork to the extent that their KERS unit no longer fits.

    With an increased weight limit for next year, longer wheelbase which will make the cars easier to balance, and the incentive to cut down the amount of fuel on board at the start, I can see KERS being very attractive to many teams. Presumably Brawn will have access to the Mercedes unit, and maybe Force India as well. Red Bull, assuming they end up with Renault power again, are not going to allow themselves to be caught short if the rest of the top runners have KERS.

    I can easily see FOTA reversing themselves on KERS before next season — and if so, this move by Williams looks like a smart bit of political pressure to nudge things in the right direction.

  26. I’m slightly confused by their actions on this. Williams had to apply to have their suspension lifted from FOTA, so why are they then rocking the boat.
    As I understand it the company Williams purchased Automative Hybrid systems ltd. http://www.williamshybridpower.com/company/ they supply all kinds of industrial applications for it’s technologies, so perhaps they see F1 as a marketing tool for this side of their business.
    I doubt that Sam Michaels statement is politically motivated although it maybe strategic as Sumedh points out

    This statement from Williams is a strategic move. It is not to make any friends in FIA. It just serves the purpose of putting the other teams in a dilemma.

    Now all the other teams will again be in confusion, will there be KERS, won’t there be KERS?? Thus hampering the teams’ 2010 preparations.

    This is a possibility, but irrespective of KERS McLaren and Ferrari will have got their heads around the new aero rules and with the introduction of single fuel loads I can’t help thinking they they will still end up with better designs.

    As others have said, the only way to exploit KERS is by removing either the power limit or the duration of it’s use.Then we will see some real racing as the chances of cars matching each others deployment of say 15 seconds KERS is far less likely than 6 seconds.

    I thought that Mclaren and Ferrari both agreeing to scrap KERS was unusual at the time because it is an avenue of engineering that their considerable resources could exploit and give them an advantage. And I’m no fan of FOTA stacking their own internal rules on top existing regulations anyway. But F1 needs to save money, so now the aero rules are stabalising perhaps money can be filtered back to the KERS projects and perhaps the FIA may change their useage regs.

    1. Correct!
      Additionally, it seems like Williams is probably posturing for a good engine deal with…who really knows. It is a little upsetting how Frank continually seems to rankle the other members of FOTA. He seems to be caught up in the “pihrana” aspect of F1. Maybe I’m nieve, but I see FOTA as an attempt for the teams to get beyond the “we are the only team that matters” mentality and try to strike a common bond for all the teams pulling on the same end of the rope, for the good of the sport. Strength in numbers type of approach. Williams alway are seeming to buck the trend if only for the benefit of…Williams.
      Having said that, Williams are within the rules to say they will and even run KERS next year. Its just that FOTA seems to have come up with this “gentlemens agreement” that the teams would drop it and here is Williams stirring the pot again. I don’t think it will fully materialize.
      And by the way…the Williams KERS flywhel spins at 60,000RPM positioned just behind the drivers head. You had better duck pretty fast when that thing lets loose, or risk getting a pretty close haircut.

      1. I do wonder anout the saftey of the Williams flywheel system, how would it react to a large shunt, how well contained is the fly wheel and does FIA crash testing regs test for such eventuallities?
        As for Frank loving the Pirhana aspect of F1, I am told that nearly all Franks roles within the team are now commercial and that these type of decisions are made by Patrick Head and Sam Michael, however as Williams are promoting the Flywheel for other commercial applications this may be where there is a conflict of interests within team. But they must feel very confident in their new technology because there is a chance that FOTA will dismiss the agreement and all teams may choose to run KERS next year, and the two best systems have already had a season of field testing.

  27. we have seen some excellent KERS-assisted passes, particularly at the start of races.

    Indeed, but none of them down to real driver skill. KERS takes away the suprise element too – you always know which cars will get a good start. Unpredictability should be of paramount importance in F1 IMHO.

    Williams’s announcement came one day after the FIA said it would take steps to equalise engine performance in 2010.

    Equalising Engines is not, for me, part of F1 either. A bit like the tight aero rules, it takes away the engineering competition element that is unique in F1.

    As for the KERS, this will surely mean McLaren will reconsider using it next season – but at least now they won’t be panned for doing so.

    Typical Williams I’m afraid.

  28. Williams’s position is hard to understand. Previously they have strongly advocated cost reductions and were the first team to break ranks with FOTA and support the FIA’s hated budget cap proposal.

    Indeed, but I think they’ve spent a lot this season already developing the flywheel KERS with Flybrid Tech.
    (http://www.flybridsystems.com/F1System.html)

      1. But it was not only an acquisition for Formula 1, it was a technology gap that Williams felt they could exploit in other industrial sectors. It was as much a buisiness decision probably in part to help finance and develop KERS.

        1. Yes you’re right. I guess we’ll ever know the breakdown of the investment/benefits for both F1 and other industries.

          However, I think to develop an F1 KERS system and then not use it at all in F1 by following FOTA would be a difficult decision to make.

          1. Agreed, and not to use F1 to promote it would feel neglegent by Frank Williams, he is a true master when it comes to the commercial side of things. The fact Williams have existed for so long is testamont to this.

  29. Champ cars had push to pass that limited the total time that the bonus power could be used thru the whole race…

    Rather than design a kers and the millions that went into it, for such simple idea is beyond me…and for something that could be as simple as a re-map on the rev limit, that via the ecu that limits total time and reports live for TV and race controllers..similar to the concept of the champ car idea.

    The concept of recovering energy is not something f1 needs to develop for the general public, it has and is being done already…it’s nothing more than Mad Max stupid think tank, and a total waste of money. In a time the the same mad Max pushed the barrow of sympathy for cost cutting on the most dramatic scale that would have come at the expense of real peoples lives in the form of jobs!

    1. I think you’ll find that development of the KERS technologies has tripled since it’s deployment in F1, both in terms of power harvesting, storage and deployment. Make no doubts Formula 1 is cutting edge in this field and making substantial contributions to road car technology.
      See Here
      http://www.enginelounge.com/2009/08/23/cosworth-back-to-williams-kers-development-for-williams/

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KERS#Kinetic_Energy_Recovery_Systems

      Have a read!

      1. BS.
        The only real reason we don’t all drive around in hybrid cars with recoverable energy storage system (RESS) is current battery technology(or energy storage), apart from the oil giants control.

        Toyota have been quoted as saying they think KERS is ‘primitive’ and not relevant to road car Hybrid systems.

        Collecting energy from the rear axle only and then crippling the total amount of energy it’s allowed to collect and release is more complicated than the concept of collecting kinetic energy…crickey I could make you a kers this afternoon, but it wont fit with in the fia rules and wouldn’t suit a f1 ‘race’ car.

        And to top it off there was a fota agreement with the fia for a standard KERS to be introduced 2010/2011 before they decided to can it for 2010 and not to forget it would have been canned this year had it not been for BMW.

        This is williams at it’s best skulduggery to get a new motor or the future fia contract to supply KERS like Maca does the ecu. Or at worst try and gain (or recover) financially from the decision to buy a company to develop the kers concept @ the expence of the sport of F1.

        1. I agree that this decision by Williams is probaly commercially motivated, however williams hybrid technology is evidence of the applications for developed KERS systems, as a green initiative it is not just applicable to mobile uses such as vehicles but has substantial applicaions within the industrail sector where it is possible to return energy back into systems which employ motors or methods of harvesting energy. As for green credentials, the hydrogen fuel cell is where the smart money is in automotive research, I will agree with that.

  30. HounslowBusGarage
    23rd September 2009, 14:39

    I think this is Williams doing a little posturing – “We need a first class engine like a Mercedes or a Ferrari (or possibley a BMW again?), or we will introduce KERS which means all the other teams will have to do so as well.”
    Although there’s little love lost between Max and Frank, I do wonder if Max has anything to do with this as it advances KERS (Max’s project) and confounds FOTA.
    Also as has been pointed out here, Williams have put a lot of investment already in KERS and they still have a very good chance of bringing that to a non-F1 market and making it into a profitable product. So what better way to finish the development of the idea than by using it to influence people and/or win races?

  31. Frank always seems to be the burr under the saddle blanket, but in this case I think he’s right. The teams that spent the time and money to develop KERS should not waste those resources by abandoning the technology now.
    Admittedly, with cost being brought down in Formula 1, teams seem reluctant to continue with KERS. However, technology keeps moving forward, and as others have stated here, with fuel mileage is going to play a big part next year, KERS seems to make sense. Additionally, Aero as it is being developed in Formula one makes no sense when viewed in terms of road cars with the exception of the mega expensive supercars. Fossils fuels are going to become more expensive and scarce in the future, and it seems to me that alternative methods of powering automobiles will become more and more necessary.
    There is a new technology being developed now that might make a great alternative.
    http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22780/
    Furthermore, if all the cars on the grid have KERS, then that advantage is no longer an advantage except in view of the fact that one system will probably be somewhat better that the others, but that is the essence of formula 1 anyway.
    What the world does with disposing of old batteries from future electric cars is a concern as well, so possibly Williams flywheel system might have a life in the REAL WORLD, however in my view, there still needs to be a motive source that gives the vehicle sufficient energy to spin up the flywheel, and in turn, eventually that will more than like be the result of electric power rather than fossil fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells will also come into play at some point. Either way, we Formula 1 fans will eventually have to forgo the sound of those wonderful engines, that create one of the primary reasons that we so enjoy the races. The scream of the engines.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      23rd September 2009, 20:30

      I agree with almost everything you say, apart from the screaming engines.
      I’d love to hear (and see) a pack of rumbling diesels working hard and blowing the petrol engined cars away.
      One of the commentators on WTCC last year described the note of the petrol BMW as ‘contra tenor castrato’, as opposed to the diesel Seat’s ‘basso profundo’!
      I prefer my racing soundscapes with balls attached.

  32. Does anybody know who the engine supplier will be for williams next year?

  33. I think this a reasonable move. Williams has spent money on designing etc. a KERS they so far haven’t used yet in a race. If what they have has a potential of enhancing the performance, it would be strange to abandon it for 2010 without the need of doing so. Especially if many of the other teams were not to use it next season, a good, reliable KERS could give Williams somewhat of a competitive advantage. If the team wants to get to a competitive level of winning races again, they need to use whatever opportunities they have to improve their performance.

  34. Hold on a second. The FOTA agreement that Ferrari and McLaren, etc. would drop KERS was because several of the teams (including Williams) argued that it drove up the costs of competing, so they wanted it gone. Now suddenly Williams gets their KERS system to work the way they’d hoped and they’re going to run it (after being one of the teams opposed to KERS). Just a little hypocritical don’t we think?

  35. I don’t really remember Williams opposing KERS, they have been proKERS pretty much whole season.

  36. “Sir” Frank makes me sick. His achievements aside, I think he’s a sleazebag.

    1. Now there we have a lesson in real intelligence.

    2. Please ellaborate explosiva, in what way or manner is he a sleazebag.
      A devoted servant to our sport, awarded with a knighthood, most succesful privateer team, respect across bot the business and sporting world………what will you do today.

    3. I give Frank Williams a great amount of respect and he has given literally his life and all his energy to this sport. Sleazebag,no that is nat accurate for Frank. He is one of the few remaining men in the sport with integrity, much more than I can say for alot of the people in Ferrari, Mclaren, Renault and probably some of the other teams. If they dont agree they put it out there for the world to see and they dont apologize for it. That is a sign of integrity
      Franks teams have revolutionized parts of the sport to the point that systems they developed with their own time and money were eventually made illegal or legislated out with new rules. They would be even more compeitive than they are if the rules were not wrote with such tightly defined parameters. His team took on engine mfg’s that were just getting or returning to the sport and helped them develope their powerplants into compeitive units only to have the engines given to other teams after they provided the r&d.
      They are a proud and headstrong group at Williams.
      They are not Flavio or Pat Symonds or NPJ to which your comments do apply.

      You should reevalute your use of the word sleazebag because it isnt being used correctly.
      Now of course if you are looking in your mirror then it might apply correctly at that point.

  37. I’m sick of all the technical disparity: some teams have KERS, some don’t; some teams had double-diffusers, some didn’t; etc. This season, more than any in recent memory, has simply been about the car. Brawn, far from the miracle flight from the ashes of Honda, such as it’s portrayed in the media, especially the British media, have been working on their 09 car for two years (!) with all the money from Honda. Red Bull, Toyota, Williams and co. all stopped developing their 08 cars way before the season ended to concentrate on 09; the result: these teams are competitive; and the teams who were fighting out front at 08 are fighting back in 09.

    This championship lacks the credibility of the previous championships. Jenson is good when the car is perfect; but when the car isn’t perfect, he’s average. Or poor. And what about the five race period where he scored less than a dozen points? He lost his head: he cracked, mentally. What’s more worrying is that he lost his head despite all his experience: he’s not new to F1, as Lewis was in 07 and 08. How many other world champions, especially the great world champions, have had such a bleak (and lengthy) period as Jenson did in their championship season? Very few, if any. That not one of Jenson’s main rivals capitalised on this terrible string of results shows just how poor is Jenson’s competition.

    Rubens can be excellent (e.g., Europe 93, Spain 96); but, as a matter of course, he’s average. And he’s not a young man anymore. Vettel is the most overrated driver on the grid. After 13 rounds, he’s a mere 2.5 points a head of Webber! Not good enough, frankly, for him to be considered one of the very top drivers. Vettel can’t overtake. Vettel crashes or spins-off far too many times a season to win the title. The new Schumi he aint! As for Webber, he’s never been rated very highly: and with good reason. He’s good; but he’s not in the league of the drivers who should be competing for the title. This year has been all too easy for Jenson and Brawn. It reminds us what a great triumph 08 was. Lewis took the title on the very last corner, on the very last lap, of the very last race – despite having the second best car (that’s why Massa was a contender), a team-mate who didn’t (or rather who couldn’t) help him, the most penalties ever for a driver in a season in the history of F1, and some truly mesmerising drives such as Silverstone. What a difference a year makes!

  38. I have nothing against Williams using Kers; As someone said, this is partly a business venture outside of F1.

    The trouble is, the other teams will probably have to have a re-think on whether to use it themselves, KERS is not illegal.

    The problem is, IMO, If everyone chooses to use it, you have negated any advantages; You’re back at square one.

    1. By the way, didn’t Monty say a few weeks/months back that Ferrari would be using KERS in 2010?

    2. The problem is, IMO, If everyone chooses to use it, you have negated any advantages; You’re back at square one.

      Unless of course one system is better than another…oh but wait, they’re limited on how much they can use and for how long…so unless one system is lighter than another…

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        24th September 2009, 13:22

        And, since the use of KERS is limited during weach lap, it depends where and how you use it and how good you are at using it, plus the affect it has on the rest of thee car.
        So we have variables in terms of effectiveness, weight, usage and driver skill.
        So no, I don’t think we will be back at Square One.

  39. Alistair, you said it yourself
    “That not one of Jenson’s main rivals capitalised on this terrible string of results shows just how poor is Jenson’s competition.”

    So, if Jenson is “average, or poor” what does it make the others?

    And, remind me, who is leading the championship, and has done from the very start of the season?

  40. Come on folks, one of the engine providers,say Ferrari wanted KERS next year and wanted out of the handshake, soooo told williams to break the agreement if they wanted their engine. Voila KERS is back on.

    1. Wicked :)

    2. Oh god, Williams-Ferrari sounds simply WRONG

  41. Eh, F1 should just go to electric motors…

    1. Yeah. Also, since the cars are unable to overtake anyway, why not make the cars much smaller and make them run around on a small slot carved out of the road. The track could be much smaller too so it would fit in a small stadium. We could overlook the whole track in a single glance.

      1. thats pretty funny..yeah I like that

  42. When the FOTA agreed on not running KERS, Williams was not part of the FOTA (suspended) and they never made it a secret that they were willing to run KERS this year or next year. And they are sticking with that now they are back in the FOTA.

    To drop KERS next year would (IMHO) be a waste of money, now that they (and other teams) spent a lot on developing KERS for this year. Next year should be a return on that investment.

    SO I don’t think it is political (in the sense to please FIA), but just the opinion of the Williams team.

  43. hey guys,dont any of u think,with the no refuelling law for next year,which means cars will most likely have to carry about 2/3 more fuel to finish a race.dont anyone besides me think its pushing the safety barrier a bit,knowing the amount of pile ups which occurs at the start of these races,and of course at the start of the race all the cars will most likely have fill tanks.

  44. Rashad Sadigov
    18th November 2009, 9:05

    FIA said in 2008 that with the aerodynamic changes in there will be more overtakes in 2009.
    But dear fellow recently I have taken a look at the videos of the years before 2009 and surely can claim that there were more overtakes before 2009.
    I don’t know how about you but I think the design of the 2005-2008 looked much nicer with its more downforce aerodynamics. I really hate how the F1 cars look right now and hope that it will be changed in 2010.
    Does anybody have an answer to this question?

  45. Rashad Sadigov
    18th November 2009, 9:05

    FIA said in 2008 that with the aerodynamic changes in there will be more overtakes in 2009.
    But dear fellow recently I have taken a look at the videos of the years before 2009 and surely can claim that there were more overtakes before 2009.
    I don’t know how about you but I think the design of the 2005-2008 looked much nicer with its more downforce aerodynamics. I really hate how the F1 cars look right now and hope that it will be changed in 2010. Will it change? Does anybody know something about it?

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