Williams defy FOTA over KERS in 2010

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.

Promoted content from around the web | Become an F1 Fanatic Supporter to hide this ad and others

Advert | Go Ad-free

114 comments on Williams defy FOTA over KERS in 2010

  1. Rikadyn said on 24th September 2009, 3:57

    Eh, F1 should just go to electric motors…

    • patrickl said on 24th September 2009, 10:03

      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.

  2. Sasquatsch said on 24th September 2009, 11:46

    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.

  3. Frenchie said on 31st October 2009, 19:27

    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.

  4. Rashad Sadigov said on 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?

  5. Rashad Sadigov said on 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?

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.

Skip to toolbar