While F1 dithers over KERS, road car hybrid technology leaves it behind

The Porsche 918's hybrid engine is more than twice as powerful as an F1 KERS

The Porsche 918's hybrid engine is more than twice as powerful as an F1 KERS

Right now, F1 should be enjoying a new turbo era.

We had a taste of it last year as some teams deployed Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems to gain a power boost on the straights. Those without it tended to be quicker in the corners – and that crucial difference gave us some great racing.

The teams agreed between themselves not to use KERS in 2010 to spare themselves the eight-figure development costs. But as road car hybrid technology becomes ever more sophisticated, can F1 afford not to be part of the revolution?

At the Geneva Motor Show last month Porsche unveiled a new concept supercar which they claim is close to production. The Porsche 918 runs a 500bhp V8 petrol engine combined with a 218bhp electric motor.

Even if the teams took advantage of the F1 rules allowing KERS they would only be allowed to develop 80bhp and use it for 6.7 seconds per lap. It’s a graphic illustration of how F1 now lags behind the sort of technological development it used to lead.

I had dinner with a friend of mine who’s an F1 engine technician a few weeks ago. He complained about how restrictive the F1 engine rules are. The development freeze has stifled innovation in engine technology in F1 – as it was intended to.

He voiced thoughts of leaving his job and going to work for one of several companies which have sprung up in recent years developing hybrid engines for racing as well as road applications. I suspect many F1 engineers who’ve found their job involves less research and development are thinking similar thoughts.

Bringing back KERS

The teams are divided over whether to bring KERS back and how it could be done. There’s a real concern over the costs involved and, with several new teams finding their feet and others clearly short on sponsorship, that’s a reasonable point.

That has led some to suggest that a standard-specification KERS should be introduced for 2011. But, as my friend the engineer pointed out, what’s the point in F1 embracing a cutting-edge technology but not play a role in developing it? Isn’t that the very point of Formula 1?

Still I suspect the appetite for F1 to bring back a technology that improves its environmental credentials as well as the quality of racing will ease the teams’ concerns over the costs. Perhaps a compromise can be struck.

The FIA are planning a new engine formula for 2013, likely to be based around lower-capacity turbocharged engines, which could provide an opportunity to allow teams to introduce and develop their own KERS.

In the meantime, why not let them use identical, off-the-shelf units, perhaps similar to those developed by Williams Hybrid Power which are already being used by Porsche?

Whichever solution they go for, F1 needs to find a way of saying yes to KERS.

KERS

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111 comments on While F1 dithers over KERS, road car hybrid technology leaves it behind

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  1. Ral said on 9th April 2010, 19:21

    The dithering because of the costs involved with allowing KERS is silly. The decision is clear: either you try to improve your “green credentials” and spend money on doing so, or you keep costs low and entry into F1 viable for more (possibly smaller) teams. You can’t have both.

    But I think if they are going to have a KERS system, they should allow an all-out development war in it. Keep engines frozen as they are, except where it relates to integrating a KERS system. It will allow
    greener and more efficient solutions than the equally silly limits they imposed on KERS last time around, which kept costs “in check” depending on who you ask, but also limited actual road-usability. Witness Toyota’s desperaging comments about the primitive nature of what was allowed compared to what they are using already in their road cars.

    A cost-reducing compromise could be a same-chassis formula perhaps, focusing any development race and funds on the actual green side of the equation.

    • Kovy said on 9th April 2010, 23:46

      F1 should be a sport, and should be treated as such, not as a show, or as a place to develop road technology. Is KERS come back is should be allowed to be freely developed.

      • Pete said on 10th April 2010, 13:22

        I agree. More and more it seems that F1 is about tuning and revising aerodynamics at infinitum. Something I feel has no relevance to road car technology.

        What are the concerns of road cars these days? Fuel economy, alternative fuel, cleaner/zero emissions, safety features.

        We used to see improvements in these areas such as turbos, active suspension, traction control, etc. All things relevant to road cars and all banned.

        Here’s what I say: ban wings and aerofoils, unfreeze engines, limit fuel consumption, allow mechanical grip innovation.

        • Gilles said on 10th April 2010, 19:22

          I agree with you, Pete.

          Personally though, I am not high on road car relevance; F1 is about racing, going as fast as you can. Technology is secondary.
          F1 is not a lab, it’s a racing formula. The most powerfull one with the best drivers, road car manufacturers don’t need it however to develop cars. Le Mans would be more relevant for them in that respect.

          • Clay said on 11th April 2010, 14:22

            The problem is that who pays for F1? Car makers and big sponsors. They want more than just advertising for their money.

            I agree with the banning of wings. As I’ve posted before, get rid of wings and it spices the racing up as well as giving F1 real world relevance as engineers work on making cars slippery through the air.

            KERS is an incredibly easy way to keep the engine side of F1 real world relevant. Sure, to include it again you have to have some compromises on the chassis design side but that’s the F1 we all knew 15-20 years ago. You could either have a car quick on the straights and slower around the corners or vice versa. Now it’s all about downforce, unless you’re Force India at Spa and Monza…

  2. Sumedh said on 9th April 2010, 19:29

    Great article as always.

    KERS was a real waste of resources last year. It was a good concept that was introduced. It gave engineers new challenges, unfortunately, the rewards for accomplishing these challenges was a measly 80bhp boost while it was clear that most KERS units on the grid could deploy much more than 80 bhp.

    Formula One lately instead of becoming about innovation, has become about reading the rulebook finely and stretching the rules to the limit. It is precisely due to this why a double decker diffuser trumped KERS so easily last year. The rules for diffuser had more loopholes than the rules for a KERS system.

    Bring back KERS, but only if teams are being allowed to use all the boost that is available to them and not just 6 seconds. Let the teams gather Kinetic Energy from rear AND front tyres not just rear.

    • macahan said on 11th April 2010, 23:54

      I’m not against bringing back KERS BUT if they are going to do so it needs to be more technical freedom. F1 technical cutting edge not anylonger as other stated. If you look at Indy Car they have a overtake button it can only be used 20 times a RACE. It also only give you 9bhp (yes only NINE) and only last for a very short period, ones it’s used you you have a few before it’s reset and you can use it again. Sure it’s used as defense but generally it’s in responds to another driver hitting their overtake button and once the front drivers overtake “worn out” the driver behind can hit his again and generally before the front drivers is reset your at the corner.

      Either your very restrictive like this (it makes for good racing) or you are very deliberate in the usage and power. Allow them an extra 150bhp and allow them only say to use it for say max 1sec at a time and have to wait 5 sec before next usage but allow unlimited usage per lap. Many straights are done in about 5-8 seconds. On shorter straights the one that hit the button first would be best setup to use it on the exit on the next corner. If straight is to “short” you might not have it reset again for exit on next corner will driver behind might be setup for it.

      The “advantage” from KERS last year was not enough advantage for many teams to even bother to bolt it on because the benefit of power vs weight and load issues didn’t make it worth it.

      Whatever they do FIA REALLY need to TEST on their proposed rule changes then just decide and say this is what we will do we think it will be good.

  3. John M said on 9th April 2010, 19:40

    “Environmental credentials” is a bit of a laugher. The amount of waste involved (batteries that last a single race, etc.) pretty much negates whatever minimal fuel efficiency is gained.

    I still don’t understand why KERS had to be limited to 80 bhp and 6.7 sec. Let the teams innovate and come up with creative solutions. If everyone operates under the same limiting conditions (80 bhp, 6.7 sec), then all you end up with is formulaic results. It simply becomes a matter of engineers crunching numbers to determine the optimum times for when to use KERS. All the teams can figure out the same thing, so there’s no variability. We saw this last year. The people that had KERS used it in the same places consistently.

    On the other hand, I do understand why KERS had to be limited: COST – the 500lb gorilla in the F1 room. They still have not come up with a good solution for cost containment, in my opinion. The solution so far has been shoe-horning F1 into a semi-spec series. This has stifled innovation and variability. I’m frankly surprised more engine manufacturers haven’t bolted. What’s the motivation to keep producing homolgated engines that are frozen for years?

    • Xibi said on 9th April 2010, 22:15

      I partially disagree. If KERS is limited by cost, how can its true potential be reached? Imposing a budget cap means slowing down a good process and I certainly can’t agree with that. At the end of the day, Formula 1 is a race against time and space. Who is in front, wins the races. Simple.

      However, I agree with everything else you wrote.

      • I think the whole cost thing is over exaggerated. In 2008 Red Bull’s revenues were less than Tottenham Hotspur’s for 2009. Tottenham Hotspur for Christ sake! The biggest cost issue is all the money that goes out of the sport via the commercial rights holder.

      • theRoswellite said on 10th April 2010, 0:09

        @ Xibi…

        YES, Yes, yes…

        In fact make F1 the leading edge of KERS development.

        In fact, make F1 the leading edge of electric powered auto technological development.

        In fact, let F1 engineering become once again the leading edge of all kinds of relevant-to-the-future technologies.

        It is time for the FIA to stop the constant restrictions and limitations, and start “legislating” for the future.

        Are you listening Mr. Todt?

  4. W-K said on 9th April 2010, 19:40

    I think I’m on the side of your F1 engine tech. Lets just scrap the present rules and go back to the basics of F1. Let the FIA specify the weight, engine capacity, wheel sizes and the area’s where aero bits can or cannot be fitted.
    And lets see who can build the best open wheel sports car in the world, the way it is meant to be.

    • Icthyes said on 9th April 2010, 20:02

      But with a budget cap linked to inflation.

      We have all these rules about how many hours you can spend doing this, how many miles doing that, soon it will be how many people you have, etc.

      Just have one rule: spend no more than this. Add that to “don’t build your cars beyond this in these areas” and we’ll have sustainable innovation for the next decade at least.

      • Matt said on 12th April 2010, 5:17

        Exactly!!! If cost is the real driving force for all the restrictions, put the restriction on the cost (and the basic design principles – no 6 wheelers or fan cars again) and let teams do the best they can without going it.

        You could see teams with more powerful petrol engines going against more efficient but slightly less powerful diesels against hybrids.

        But as with every sport that has a “salary cap” the problem is enforcing this. Might be easier to make teams that are just a racing team comply, but what about a team like Ferrari who could say they are doing work for a hybrid road but then apply that to their F1 car?

  5. don’t undertstand with all this “green” issue with F1, they have said the informtaion about “climate change” is all a bunch of lies and was manipulated. so make the cars go up to 280mph or something and burn as much fuel as the old days and lets carry on as normal.

    Faster cars do mean older tracks would have to go or be upgraded to suit the speed/safety of drivers and fans but in the end Bernie calls the shots.

    In 10-15 years time road cars will outclass F1 cars in all catagories if they are not careful.

    • tom12333 said on 9th April 2010, 19:52

      Why not Williams KERS?
      Here you go: there is only one place you can put flywheel based KERS- behind the driver’s seat. It’s impossible these days (due to refueling ban)to accomodate flywheel based KERS along with such big fueltanks. Some of the cars are already long.

      Williams KERS is much cheaper, lighter and more efficient (in racing enviroment whrere you don’t have to store recovered energy too long- you use it every lap)

    • zoid9969 said on 9th April 2010, 19:56

      “They”? Who is “they”? The oil industry and their cronies, perhaps?

      Just because some of the evidence for climate change was “sexed up” and manipulated doesn’t mean that the whole thing is complete nonsense.

      Not everything that Darwin wrote about natural selection and so on was correct. Does that invalid the whole thing too?

      • “They” meaning scientists around the world who are seeing real evidence and are actually agreeing that this is a natural occurence that happens every 30 years, which as record show give more evidence then a computer telling us if we hit a certain point of CO2 we are “doomed”.

        When greenpeace start opening their mouths we have to listen, but when a guy who has better evidence saying “don’t panic, it’s a natural occurrence” he is silenced by the tree huggers and the media.

        read this.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

        The north pole won’t melt fully until 2013 they reckon and not come back for a few years until the cycle repeats again. And not permanent as you all have been told.

        It has happend in the past, even before Darwin was born and his family before him.

        How did the vikings draw a maps of the land mass around them? it’s because there was no ice at the north pole 2,300 years ago.

        You go on with your life thinking the whole planet will become some wastland, while I’m going to open a ski resort up in scotland for the next 10 years until it stops and then laugh that i didn’t get sucked in by the media hype they always do….remember the HRN1 virus last year? yer a real threat to the world that was………

        • George said on 9th April 2010, 21:14

          The vikings were around 1000 years after that though?

          I think it’s slightly foolish to suggest all the chemicals we’re releasing into the atmosphere aren’t having any effect, simply because it has happened naturally before doesn’t mean we should initiate it ourselves.

          Finally, you actually believe something written in the daily mail?

          • Tiomkin said on 9th April 2010, 23:04

            Global warming fear mongering is simply a way to get cash out of people, and keep them quiet. Want to put up the cost of utility bills? Simply say the increased cost is to stop you using the stuff, so you become green. More cost on petrol and diesel? it’s to stop you driving and make you green. Without the car the economy dies as no body can get to work. Ask yourself where is all the cash going?

            The truth is cows put out more green house gasses in the air than anything else on earth. Deforestation stops the planet converting CO2 back to oxygen. Forests are destroyed for Beef farming. Want to go green? Stop eating beef so the cow population goes down. (No, I’m not anti meat).

            The planet will be here long after mankind has died out. No matter what we do.

          • Mark Hitchcock said on 10th April 2010, 0:24

            Hate to break it to you Tiomkin but fuel prices are going to increase whether or not climate change is the real deal, and whether or not politicians are involved.

            Ever heard of Peak Oil?
            Basically we’ve reached, or are about to reach, the point at which we stop finding new oil. That obviously means that it will become more expensive.
            But it also means that if we keep wasting the oil on cars etc. instead of putting it into developing renewable energy then by the time we NEED the wind farms etc. we won’t have the resources to develop them. And we’ll be royally screwed.
            Billions of people will die, we’ll be plunged back to a way of life before the industrial revolution and the end of life on Earth as a result of climate change will be a relief!

            p.s I’m not entirely sure where this is gonna slot into the reply chain so apologies if it is in completely the wrong part of the conversation!

        • You link to a single Daily Mail article, which you claims supports your conclusion that global warming is not caused by humans. How about some actual peer-reviewed science? The stuff you find in technical journals?

          The overwhelming scientific consensus is that human activities contribute significantly to climate change. No amount of head-burying will change that.

          • Hey now lets not be down on the quality journalism of that well renowned bastion of objective reporting known as the Daily Mail. I mean it’s not as if they’d do anything as silly as blame facebook for a rise syphilis or claim that 2000 bugs are living in every train compartment:

            http://www.badscience.net/2010/03/facebook-causes-syphilis-says-prof-peter-kelly-director-of-public-health-nhs-tees/

            http://www.badscience.net/2010/03/rentokil/

          • Rob R. said on 9th April 2010, 23:32

            Guess you’ve never heard of the hacked Climate Research Unit emails….

            “K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

            Or you did hear of them, but you just chose to bury your head in the sand.

          • Rob R. said on 9th April 2010, 23:37

            BTW Andy, can I ask you, how was it that the ice age ended, when there wasn’t a single Hummer around?

          • mike-e said on 10th April 2010, 3:29

            sorry for the swear, you can delete that word if you like keith. :o

          • I’ve heard of the CRU emails but I prefer to keep a sense of proportion. The vast majority of climate science is sound and requires no fudging of data. Go down to your local university library, have a look in some climatology journals. If you don’t agree with what they are saying, do your own research and get it published. That’s what science is all about.

          • Rob R. – your point about Hummers. I don’t think many sane people would argue that there haven’t been natural periods of global warming and cooling in the history of the Earth. The Ice Age was a long period of cooling which was ended by a long period of warming.

            However, at the moment we are dumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. This appears to be responsible for the climate getting warmer – not a new phenomena, clearly, but the first time it appears to have been caused by human activity. At the very least, we’re subjecting our climate to an enormous unchecked experiment. That clearly carries an awful lot of risk.

            The stacks of peer reviewed evidence is there, whether you like it or not.

        • beneboy said on 10th April 2010, 15:56

          You may find this website a little more reliable than the Daily Mail:

          http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

          • Rob R. said on 10th April 2010, 17:43

            “I’ve heard of the CRU emails but I prefer to keep a sense of proportion.”

            Yes, that’s a nice way of saying “I just choose to stick my fingers in my ears.” How am I supposed to “keep things in proportion” when we now know we have “scientists” saying “yeah, let’s just keep that out of the peer-review process…. ”

            “If you don’t agree with what they are saying, do your own research and get it published. That’s what science is all about.”

            Obviously even if I did I couldn’t get published because there is a cabal of “scientists” plotting against dissent. And nothing is being done about it.

          • Rob R. said on 10th April 2010, 17:46

            “You may find this website a little more reliable than the Daily Mail:

            http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

            No, I may not. I doubt I will find anything funded by that crazy nutball George Soros. “reliable”. You probably don’t even know who he is, so obviously you are the ignorant one here.

          • Mark Hitchcock said on 10th April 2010, 19:32

            “I doubt I will find anything funded by that crazy nutball George Soros. “reliable”.”

            But you find reports and “research” funded by oil companies (who have a massive interest in muddying the waters) to be reliable?

          • Rob R. said on 10th April 2010, 20:16

            Wait, Mark, where did you hear that these studies from oil companies are questionable? Probably from the same politicians like Al Gore who were saying in 1990 “We only have ten years to save the earth from global warming!” And the same in 2000.

            Nothing is stopping you or anyone else from developing alternative energies. God knows we pay enough taxes, you’d think the government could have funded some kind of solution by now. We don’t have anything that can replace oil at the moment, and demonising oil companies will not make one magically appear.

            If you are really serious about “saving the world”, why don’t you go out and create something that will. I’m struggling to see how whining about the evil oil companies is helping you to do that.

          • Mark Hitchcock said on 10th April 2010, 23:20

            Why don’t I create something that will? Perhaps because I have no engineering knowledge whatsoever?

            And actually no I did not find out anything I know from Al Gore. I prefer to read, research and learn on my own.
            Believe it or not, that also involves looking into the counter-arguments. And I happen to not believe a word they say!

            The reason I would be highly suspicious of research funded by oil companies is the same reason I’d be suspicious of a report into the health benefits of fast food which is funded by Mcdonalds. They are paying off scientists to ignore the facts because they are going to lose a lot of money if some real action starts taking place! Are you really naive enough not to see that?

            The only way I can influence this whole debate in any way (not being a scientist, not being an engineer, not being a politician) is by trying to debate the issues with people like yourself.

          • Rob R. said on 11th April 2010, 1:07

            “Why don’t I create something that will? Perhaps because I have no engineering knowledge whatsoever?”

            Oh, I see! If only there was some place where you could learn about it, like some kind of “college” or “university”… damn…. nevermind, obviously it’s not your fault you haven’t come up with a solution – you weren’t born with engineering skills like some other people were!

            Jesus christ. This is the calibre of “argument” I have come to expect from you brainwashed…….. people.

            You know what my first response to you should have been? It should have been “WHAT oil-industry research”? We never hear anything about it. All you see on the TV and in the papers is OMFG IMPENDING ARMAGEDDON. That’s what we’ve had for the last 10 years except for the brief interlude of partial-sanity at the end of last year when these emails came to light. So I really don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Mark Hitchcock said on 11th April 2010, 13:32

            It’s lucky universities and colleges are free isn’t it…oh wait. Yeah I’d rather spend my very meagre funds on food thanks.

            I’m not sure how you’re in the position to judge the calibre of my argument. Your position seems to be “If you can’t change it yourself, don’t bother talking about it”.

            Regarding research funded by oil companies. Google is your friend. I googled “Oil funded climate research” (without quotes) and plenty came up!
            Maybe it shows your real knowledge of the subject if your entire view of it is shaped by what the media is telling you…

            Aaaanyway, F1Fanatic isn’t really the place to be discussing this sort of thing. I come here for a nice, friendly chat about F1. So I’ll bow out now (unless your reply is especially compelling!)

          • Rob R. said on 11th April 2010, 19:51

            “Maybe it shows your real knowledge of the subject if your entire view of it is shaped by what the media is telling you…”

            Newsflash, the media are all on YOUR side. They’re all on board with the armageddon narrative. So I don’t know why you continue to peddle this stupid line where you insinuate that the media is somehow “for ignorant people”, or it is “keeping people ignorant”.

            It’s pure paranoid nonsense.

    • Daffid said on 10th April 2010, 11:49

      Thanks for the best laugh I’ve had in years!!

      Citing the Daily Mail as proof…

      Oh boy, that’s fantastic.

      Without getting into the debate as this is an F1 Forum, anyone who bothers to read up on climatology from proper sources, would know that regardless of claims and counter claims about the impact of humans, long term climate change (both hotter and colder) is the biggest threat posed to civilisation we know of – far greater than the meteor strikes Hollywood loves.

      I’d recommend “The two-mile time machine” as a great light read to get you up and running on known climate changes over the last 100,000+ years. Then if you want to get into an argument… perhaps spend a year or two in an academic library, something Daily Mail journalists wouldn’t even know how to find.

      Thanks for making my day

      • Daffid said on 10th April 2010, 11:50

        (ok… nuclear war… i’ll give you that one… now let’s get back to F1)

      • chris said on 10th April 2010, 23:50

        what does all this have to do with F1?

        • Daffid said on 11th April 2010, 10:26

          In the longer term quite a lot, because depending on the findings of the 5th IPCC report F1 could find itself on the wrong end of draconian emissions regulations. Better to jump rather than be pushed and invest in the new tech now.

  6. Marc Connell said on 9th April 2010, 19:56

    People say the £££££££ used on kers was a waste. I believe its a waste when nobody uses it after it was developed. F1 gave kers a future and now a few road cars are useing it. I believe that was money well spent…not a waste.

  7. Icthyes said on 9th April 2010, 19:58

    KERS was ruined from the start with the restrictions placed on it. Had it been unlimited from the start, it would have become much more of an asset in the 2009 season, and probably not been dropped.

    As it is, it was too much cost for too little gain, so it was dropped. Now we have small teams in struggling for money, it’s even less likely to be brought back.

    I think it’s highly hypocritical that engines are frozen and yet aero development is allowed to run rampant, even within the restrictions currently imposed. We have the ridiculous situation where different engines are frozen so they stay almost equal in performance; this, in an era of supposed cost-cutting. We might as well just have one engine supplier if they’re serious about freezing performance for costs. KERS threatened to override the equalisation, and I suspect that’s why the FIA put such low limits on its performance capability.

    Hopefully the 2013 rules for engines and integrated KERS will be open and the only restrictions are how much you can spend on development. More than likely we’ll just get frozen engines with only a frozen mandatory KERS, manufactured by the teams with a standard option (like Cosworth is with the engines) making any difference from what we have now.

  8. kbdavies said on 9th April 2010, 20:12

    I’m sorry Keith, but i’m really gonna have a rant now.
    I’m tired as hell about F1’s endless navel gazing.
    Why does Formula 1 have to be “green”? What exactly is “green” about welled heeled people, with money to burn, running enterprises that cost the GDP of a small African country. It consist of racing cars as fast as possible round and round again, paying prima donna kids millions of cash to do so, a freight/ logistics carbon footprint bigger than Australia.
    Any “greenness in F1 will be manufactured, no more than window dressing. F1 need not make apologies for what it is, and it need not appease any lobbies. It started as a sport for rich people, with time on their hands, looking for just another expensive thrill.
    70yrs from now, we’ll have made a sport out of the Gumball Run.

    You don’t see the WRC losing sleep over its lack of “green” credentials, or relevance to road car technology. Hell, they cut roads through huge swathes of countryside, they actively destroy and pollute the environment the races run through, and they even destroy the local flora and fauna in between!
    And we haven’t event got to Drag Racing yet, where the whole premise is built on burning as much fuel – Petrol, Alcohol, Nitrous Oxide as much as possible, in order to go as fast as possible.

    F1 was never about roadcar relevance. The manufacturers in F1 have separate R&D departments for their road car divisions, and have never treated F1 as conduit to introduce technology into road cars.

    Sure F1 should be about development innovation,but remember, that was not the point when it started, and but it need to bleed to into road cars. If it does, fine, if not, also fine.
    The 918 Spyder Hybrid can only do 15 miles on its electric motor on a full charge. What Porsche don’t mention much is the V8,550bhp fuel burning lump in the back. And the 599 HY-KERS is not much better. It still has its original V12, and consumption is only improved by 30%.
    If these are green cars, then I’ll print out every page of F1 Fanatic and eat it! Rant over.

    • ”F1 was never about roadcar relevance. ”
      Wow where did that come from.
      When Mclaren introduced carbon it got into auto-moto, when Ferrari did shift gears on the wheel, also, carbon brakes, tunnel aero, tyre composition, engine development…
      F1 needs to stick to auto moto, that is why all the major car manufacturers are in it.
      Without it, it would be an enthusiast driven sport, with little money for those gadgets we all crave for ;)

      • mike-e said on 10th April 2010, 3:36

        the bits you find on road cars off formula one cars were never designed for road cars initially, they just happily found their way down there and worked well. I dont want to see f1 cars with satnavs, cup holders and heated reclining electric seats :S

        • So a cup holder equals carbon fiber, satnav equals gear wheel shift pads, and electronic heated seats equal kers, wow your logic is sound.
          Gadgets that revolutionize the automoto world equal accessories.

          • Paul McCaffrey said on 15th April 2010, 2:18

            I always thought the carbon fibre came from the aerospace industry.

  9. Welsh Chris said on 9th April 2010, 20:52

    Got to say to Sumedh – Great reply! Completely agree

  10. steph said on 9th April 2010, 21:27

    Not much to add. I agree with everyone who has said that kers should be opened up and explored more. The idea of it being compulsory was thrown about last season but I have to disagree with that-just let the teams use it if they want.
    I wish engines were allowed to be tinkered with again especially now the rules have changed so much with regards to the ban on refuelling.
    I am pretty cynical that the green issue in F1 is just being used because it is fashionable. It’s something that I’m really indifferent about but there is the appeal of it being another new area to see some innovation and creativity which is nice.

    • Zahir said on 10th April 2010, 0:01

      I agree that it shouldnt be compulsory. As far as i can see it should add a tacticle element. Teams could choose to carry around the extra weight of KERS hoping that the boost and the fact they have to carry around less fuel will outweigh the benefits of not having it.

      It would be a pretty crucial decision as if you got it wrong you would have to change the whole design of the car.

  11. Kers should be put in further development, but to get more overtaking put back 3.0 liter v10, allow only 18000 revs and give only 1-2 min of 20000 revs per race, and you got yourselves an unpredictable race.
    F1 spit itself in the face with its cuts of budget, so now they must be picky on what to choose.

    • chris said on 11th April 2010, 0:00

      wouldn’t this be the cheapest and easiest solution?it could be in this year.
      even HRT can afford that right?

  12. Cyclops said on 9th April 2010, 21:48

    Well hang me on a tree, but when it comes to F1 I don’t give a damn about our beloved planet Earth. It’s racing, the elitist sport where the best of the best should be driving high-end gas burning speed monsters, not their ecological substitutes. If you want some positive impact on the environment, go and make all manufacturers invest in green technologies, but keep your hands off the racing. This all “f1 green image” babbling is quite hypocritical. Suddenly everybody is interested in putting KERS in a racing car, but nobody realizes that an airplane which brought the car to the other hemisphere has burnt more fuel than all the f1 cars put together in a whole racing weekend.

  13. kowalsky said on 9th April 2010, 21:49

    frank williams has said that his team’s kers it’s too big and with the current f1’s would make the car too long, better to use the battery type.

  14. KERS could be a good thing for Formula 1 if dealt good. Maybe it would be a good idea to limit its usage and not power – for example in a 50 lap race you can use KERS 25 times but the power output shouldn’t be capped or it should be capped at much higher output or time. You mention Porche 918 in your article but you could also mention Porche and Williams Hybrid Power have created a KERS system for new Porche 911.
    If Williams, the team who don’t have biggest budget in F1 keep pushing with the technology it means it isn’t only about ”green image” and roadcar revelance. They are racers first and last and everything they do is done to ensure to keep on running. If they can see future for KERS in F1 I believe it could be more then a flashy gimmick.

    • Jarred Walmsley said on 9th April 2010, 22:07

      Theres an idea but how about limiting the total Kw used in the race that way the teams could decide whether to have a more repetive lower power or smaller usage but more power. It would add an interesting aspect to the strategy wouldn’t it?

      • Jarred Walmsley said on 9th April 2010, 22:25

        in fact this theory could even be applied to the engines themselves if the FIA just set a rev and HP limit then let the teams build an engine around that of any size/cylinder count and aspiration. This would then affect fuel consumption so a team could decide to cut down on power too improve the fuel consumption i.e if the limit was 800HP they may decide to go 790HP to improve fuel consumption and thus decrease weight. And obviously the engine choice would impact fuel consumption as well. Having a range of engine types/powers/aspirations as well as differing KERS technology would make F1 very exciting to watch

  15. Xibi said on 9th April 2010, 22:06

    Finally an article which voices my thoughts!

    Formula 1 and cost-cutting should never ever be mixed. If you are not fit economically for Formula 1, stay out of it. There are other series which fit your bill and do so specifically.

    Formula 1 should be the pinnacle of technology, the ultimate technological fighting league. In physical combat, we never see lightweight fighters compete with heavyweight ones for obvious reasons. Yet, for some reason, Formula 1 rule makers and even competing teams, fail to see the obvious. In order to improve the show and the world’s technology , you don’t lower the difficulty and ambitions, but raise it so you push yourself and obtain more. In Formula 1, this inevitably means raising the costs. But the exact opposite is happening. As a result, we ended up with aero development taking over Formula 1 in favour of mechanical development due to cost restrictions. We might have more cars on the grid now, but is the quality of the show any better? Of course NOT!

    I challenge anybody to explain to me how through cost cutting, the very best green technology can be found and implemented, both on the track and on the road. Green technology barely has anything to do with aerodynamical technology. Yet, right now, that is practically the only thing engineers are free to develop. This isn’t even a paradox, but straight contradiction of concepts. I’m not against aerodynamic research, it’s part and parcel of racing (hate it or love it), but just like in nature, everything must exist in ratio to each other. Unfortunately, aero development far outweighs anything else.

    While I disagree with Ferrari on many fronts, they were actually right in their brutal description of Formula 1’s new teams. Effectively, in order to compete with the big ones, these teams are tying the hands of the likes such as Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes in what they can really achieve. Their full potential is not being reached and in the end, the loser is the bigger interest. The people of the world are suffering as a result. They can no longer benefit of the technical novelties brought by Formula 1’s genii. (plural of genius if you were wondering) Many things wouldn’t be what they are today if it wasn’t for Formula 1, including computer simulation technology which has a lot of applications including medicine; and also a KERS system. KERS has not been used as effectively as it could have, due to cost cutting (seriously, this is getting like a sick joke), but the data gathered to develop such a device was useful enough to get other manufacturers develop their own system for the road. Now imagine if the rules weren’t so restrictful, this technology certainly would have developed much more, both power-wise and efficiency wise. God knows were the world would be right now. I know we went through a recession and to a certain extent, cost cuttings were inevitable, but now that we are nearly out of it, everything should be restored to its full glory. More technical freedom on all fronts should be given. If anything, the only restriction which I’ll agree on is aerodynamic research. We had too much of it due to an imbalance in recent rules.

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