Should KERS come back in 2011? (Poll)

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton won at Singapore in a KERS-equipped McLaren last year
Lewis Hamilton won at Singapore in a KERS-equipped McLaren last year

The F1 teams agreed between them not to use Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) this year.

But now they are considering bringing them back next year – either by letting teams develop their own systems, or making one specification system available to everyone.

Would you like to see the return of the power boost button in 2011?


Having a boost of power available on-demand can help drivers overtake.

Technology to recover energy lost in deceleration is increasingly common in road cars and, with growing pressure on fuel supplies, is likely to remain so in the future.

This makes it an attractive technology for car manufactures who want to be involved in F1.


The teams agreed not to use KERS this year to keep costs down. Reintroducing it may widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots – especially if teams are allowed free development of KERS.

Electrical KERS also brings safety complications for those handling the cars in the pits and marshals who may have to handle damaged KERS-equipped cars in the event of an accident.

I say

If F1 is going to remain a place for innovation in motorsport, then it’s hard to argue against a technology that has sound environmental credentials, is easily understood by the wider public, and could improve the quality of racing. Especially if ‘spec’ units can be made available to teams at low cost.

You say

Should KERS come back in 2011? Cast your vote and have your say below.

Should KERS come back in 2011?

  • Yes - teams should have free choice of which KERS they use (59%)
  • Yes - but all teams should have to use the same specification KERS (23%)
  • No - I don't want to see KERS devices return to Formula 1 next year at all (18%)

Total Voters: 2,232

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139 comments on “Should KERS come back in 2011? (Poll)”

  1. Definitely it should be in F1.F1 is supposedly the pinnacle of motorsport technology.
    How can that be if it doesn’t use KERS

    1. if evryone has the kers it is pointless money waste if just some teams are able to have kers i would be unfair

      1. They should not restrict the uses of KERS, it should be unlimited depending how much the cars brakes produce on every laps.

      2. if everyone has engines then its a pointless waste of money too?

    2. I think the FIA is a bit misguided when it comes to KERS. They are trying to use it solve two problems. First one is passing, second one is being green.

      Personally I don’t think the passing problem is actually that much of problem. After all if there is no passing mean each team is pushing the absolute limit, and are so closely matched. Additionally there are other ways to solve passing besides adding a push to pass button.

      As for being green, I don’t think KERS is the right solution. I think a better solution would be to free up the engine rules, and allow teams decide what sort of engine to use, what sort of fuel to use, and what sort of hybrid system to use. Some rules would be required though and off the top of my hat they would be to limit the maximum number of revs allowed from the engine unit (being the engine plus any hybrid system) and limit the rates of rev change (i.e. the minimum time it takes the engine to go from idling to maximum revs).

      With the freedom of engine type, fuel choice and hybrid type teams will be able to come with innovative solutions to enable their cars to be more fuel efficient, use renewable energy sources, and then some of this innovation might actually be transferable to regular road cars.

      1. I say yes but there needs to be some rule tweeks.

        At the moment they can push the button every lap which makes it hard to overtake because the car in front can just do the same thing. They need to bring some strategy into the picture.

        Limit the amount of times you can use it to 20 or 25 times a race, that way if you use it efficently then you will have some left over while the car in front may have to defend with none left at all. In my opinion this is how we can get some good racing.

        1. This.
          With x seconds every lap everyone will use it at the same 2 or 3 straights, rendering it worthless because there will be no overtaking.
          If you have x amounts of seconds per race (not x amounts of time), this will add another tactical element to the race

      2. i agree mostly. like how there is a limit to how many tyres the teams have over a weekend, but they can use them mostly how they like, why not let them make the engine as they see fit, just with a maximum amount of fuel allowed.
        same with pit stops – let them make as many or as few as they want, to change some or all tyres, petrol, wings, whatever.
        i think there are to many regulations around, plus i like the idea of big v10s racing small turbo charged cars

  2. I voted Yes, free choice.

  3. Ned Flanders
    24th May 2010, 16:32

    I reckon spec KERS is the way to go in 2011 for now. Clearly, F1 is still struggling finacially (or at least everyone but Bernie Ecclestone is…), and adding the cost of developing KERS to team budgets might just push a few teams over the edge.

    The new regulations are set for 2013 aren’t they? So why not wait till then to reintroduce a full blown ‘KERS war’? Hopefully, by then, a few new or returning manufacturers will be on the grid, the financial crisis will be a thing of the past, and KERS will be lighter and more powerul than they are today

  4. I say NO to KERS, just because it has a “video game” feeling I don’t wish to see in real racing.

    1. How is it like a video game when there’s actual kinetic energy converted, stored and released again through the drivetrain? Especially with a badass flywheel like Williams’ solution.

      I’m all for it, it makes a great deal of sense and it’s something that should be increasingly less restrictive in terms of power output. A standard solution would be pretty pointless.

      1. On top of that, “push to pass” buttons and engine control schemes designed around balancing fuel economy and adding temporary power have been around since at least 2004. Champ Car and IRL have both used systems that have the same on track purpose, although theirs is based in engine settings. If F1 wants to stay the leader, it would be worthwhile to add something like this in a technologically relavent way, i.e. KERS. While most “superfans” might not find this to be too impresive, casual viewers won’t really notice it but will experience a bit more thrill. Of course, this is F1, not IRL, a spec KERS would be hideous. I’ve always felt that they needed to limit the amount of power stored and greatly increase the amount of power allowed to be released so that a car can’t use it EVERY lap (1 every 20 kms would seem ideal to me).

  5. From a technological-advancement perspective, it doesn’t make sense for a spec unit, which is why I voted for the first option.
    Over the last decade or so, we have seen more and more Formula One developed technology passing down onto normal, affordable road cars. If KERS has been brought into Formula One for a green-initiative, which it has to an extent, then they need to stick to the point of doing so; to advance the technology. Thus, the teams need to let loose with their budget to develop KERS.

    Regarding the costs issue (i.e. the argument for a spec unit), I find it a hard contradiction for Formula One to be a low-cost form of motorsport. I’ll be the first to admit that cost were spiralling out of control a few years back, marginalising the hope of any small teams of joining. But, Formula One has and always will be the pinnacle of technology. This costs money. Simple as, really.

    I just think there must be a better way to manage the spending of the teams, but letting Formula One remain true to it’s *technological* purpose. How? That’s a matter I can’t get my head around.

    Maybe capping the budgets for fundamental aspects of the car, but uncapping for anything designated by the FIA as been a development-worthy technology e.g. KERS, bio-fuels, long-term component reliability… etc?

    1. I fully agree with your opinions. It’s not as if it’s improving the show either.

    2. I see this the same way you do. Even more so, as the initial investments have been made, so a relatively low cost unit might be commonly available.

      Ferrari offers it for a good price to their engine customers, Renault offer theirs to everybody for a reasonable price as well. And McLaren/Mercedes have their system which can be available to FI as well.
      If Williams can bring their fly-wheel system forward, maybe packaging it to a deal with Cosworth, it might be a hit as well. So we might have 4 Kers systems and 4 engines competing in different combinations.

  6. Its’y KERS actually an outdated technology now anyway? I remember reading when it was introduced last year that it had been surpassed by other systems and wasnt really that pioneering a technology anyway.

    1. But that was mostly because of the limit on power being lower than systems allready in use on road cars like the prius

  7. Robert McKay
    24th May 2010, 16:40

    I say yes but only if one of two situations happens.

    (1) Development is free, i.e. whatever you can generate you can re-use – no limits on how long you can deploy the boost for or how much energy you can store, as we had in 2009.

    (2) If we’re going the fixed, cheap, spec-route, then DON’T say “you can deploy it only twice a lap, every lap”. DO say “you can deploy it as many times per lap as you want, up to a total of X times over the course of a Grand Prix”. That way you minimise the risk of it always being used in the same places to attack/defend and thus everything cancelling out.

    1. Well said that man.

      KERS is fine as long as the limitations don’t make it artificial.

    2. Jarred Walmsley
      24th May 2010, 20:35

      Or, allow the teams to modify the power outage up to a maximum output over the total race, i.e. if the total power was fixed at say 200 hp then you could choose to have it deployed 50 times at 4hp each or 25 times at 8hp each, it will add even more excitement to the strategy

      1. Yes, your thought is lgical, but not the nubers and units. It would be certain amount of Joules used for a time x power equtaion. Lets say the limit would be 37.5 MJ – that could be used as 200hp for 250 seconds or 100hp for 500 seconds.
        And 4 or 8hp in an F1 car would make no difference. But your initial thinking was good and something I agree with.

        1. Jarred Walmsley
          24th May 2010, 22:08

          yes, although in my defense it was rather early over here when I was making up those numbers,

    3. That way you minimise the risk of it always being used in the same places to attack/defend and thus everything cancelling out.

      I’m not sure it does – from watching the IRL it just seems to make drivers save it all up for the end of the race (plus starts and restarts).

      Whereas if you can deploy KERS twice per lap, but a track has three straights, then things get interesting…

      1. Good point. But both of these rules could be implied – Boost is available twice per lap at an adjustable power to time ratio.

      2. Robert McKay
        24th May 2010, 23:03

        I agree in principle, but there’s not enough F1 circuits where you’d be able to say that.

        But what you absolutely must do is unbalance the situation so that if you have only two places per lap where it really makes sense to deploy KERS, you don’t have everyone doing it there each lap, every lap.

        Besides, what you might really want, if you really want to go balls out for the pass, is to hit the KERS 4, maybe 5 times on a single lap and really press the guy in front. Having the freedom in total number of uses could add something in that respect.

        Anyway the IRL guys generally have plenty of full course cautions to bunch things back up, which really affects their tactics with any kind of boost button. Taku Sato likes to do his bit too :D

    4. theRoswellite
      24th May 2010, 23:44

      I agree with Robert.

      If KERS is a worthy direction to go in, then the technology should be allowed to function to it’s full potential. It should not be introduced as a green but trivial adjunct to the “serious” efforts integral to the present engine and drive train.

      When it was initially introduced, I think the FIA was concerned that it would, in fact, work too well, and that a team might find themselves in possession of the winning edge, so it was seriously restricted as to how and when it could be utilized.

      While the FIA wanted to promote technology and, at the same time, be viewed as ecologically relevant, they certainly didn’t want to seriously restructure the basic drive-train model which has been in use since day one.

      KERS can be a positive step in racing technology that points in a direction away from an exclusively petroleum based model, toward the future.

      (I would, however, depart from Mr. McKays suggestions in one regard. I would not restrict in any way the use of the energy recovered by the KERS, neither in amount or in timing. Turn the engineers loose to develop the truly most sophisticated race car in the world.)

      1. Well said @ Robert McKay.

    5. I also agree, allow free development of the system and also allow teams to supply units to other teams.

      But… get rid of the boost button. Why not just have the power being directly applied to the drive train – generate the power under decelleration, apply the power during accelleration. That would remove the “you’ve pressed your boost button so I’ve gonna press mine” boringness and itegrates it into standard racing, just like any other power upgrade would.

      Combine that with reducing engine size so that the power remains more or less constant as KERS is developed to be stronger, and/or better fuel efficiency which allows smaller fuel tanks (less weight/easier packaging), then you’re actually talking about something with some environmental purpose and relevance to the real world without upsetting the racing.

  8. I voted yes – first option.

    But they must free up regulations governing KERS. Obtaining energy only from rear tyres and limiting it to just 400kJ is plain stupid. The moment these regulations are done away with, KERS will become attractive for more investments.

    Also, since KERS will be in an early stage of development, the gains obtained (in tenths of second / dollar of money invested) will be higher than those obtained by investing in aerodynamics. Simple law of diminishing returns!!

    This will automatically help in diverting funds away from aerodynamics thus allowing for close racing between cars and ultimately overtaking (thanks to KERS)

  9. 2011? absolutely not.

    i’ll accept that F1 as the pinnacle of motorsport should pioneer this kind of technology, but not when it is rolled out as a solution to the more pressing issue of the difficulty of overtaking – a problem which has its roots in the aero-dependancy of modern F1 cars NOT in the lack of a push-to-pass button.

    if F1 wants to spice up the show and make the racing interesting it needs to address the fundemental problem of aerodynamic vs mechanical grip and the ratio of the two that currently exists. once rules are in place to limit aerodynamic grip and cars can follow closely and pass more easily, then by all means add KERS.

    lets not let this sport become upside-down planes all hitting a KERS button at the same point lap after lap adding nothing but cost. F1 is about racing first and foremost, not solely the implementation of cutting edge tech.

    1. if F1 wants to spice up the show and make the racing interesting it needs to address the fundemental problem of aerodynamic vs mechanical grip and the ratio of the two that currently exists. once rules are in place to limit aerodynamic grip and cars can follow closely and pass more easily, then by all means add KERS.

      I agree that aerodynamics and excess grip is a bigger part of the reason why we don’t see more entertaining dry races. But I don’t understand the argument for delaying KERS because of that.

      1. I list two of the big reason for lack of overtacking(not in my view) as competitiveness and profesionalism.

        1. when the difference between laptimes is merely less than a second, and the two guys are driving at their respective limits and cannot pass.. then it shows how close they are.

          May seem boring, but those guys are driving on the limit, very close to each other continuously lap after lap, in the fastest cars available on earth.

          ultra high levels of professionalism are to “blame” but that is what makes F1 so special. People at the very top of their game pushing the very limits of what the technology can do for them.

      2. Simply because I see it being introduced as a measure to combat the lack of overtaking, thus detracting and distracting from the actual cause of the problem – aero.
        KERS seems to be this messiah, this answer to all F1’s troubles, but even if you rolled out KERS what benefit would it give the racing? Everyone would hit it at the same time. Give everyone and advantage and no one has the advantage. Back to square 1. another thing for an F1 driver to do in the cockpit. Alonso already driving with no hands – hows he going to push it?! ;)

        To me, its just not important. Aero is. The focus is being put on the wrong thing.

    2. theRoswellite
      25th May 2010, 3:56

      @ Matt Clinch

      Absolutely agree.

      KERS is important, but not especially because of the passing issue.

      It’s important as a means to maximizing the energy potential of the car. It is an example of sophistication, and thus has creditability as such. The entire car is supposedly an ongoing expression of mechanical sophistication in a racing application, and the KERS concept fits nicely.

      The question I have yet to see answered is: once everyone acquires a working KERS, which performs at a somewhat similar level, why will the passing car, using KERS, have an advantage over the car being passed, also having KERS available. Assuming you don’t artificially control the use of KERS, why wouldn’t they again “suffer” from the aerodynamic advantage presently enjoyed by the leading car?

  10. Yes KERS should be brought back. BUT! It should drive on the front wheels only with an electrical motor in each front wheel. In this way F1 would be relevant to the new breed of hybrid and electric cars that are the future for road cars. So, push the KERS button and you have 4WD and this would offer much more chance for drivers to overtake in different race situations with the increased traction available as well as the extra power. Instead off only offering an advantage on the the long straits where everybody uses in the same place anyway.

    1. Surely the rengineering invlolved would be far too expense, and simply too big a change to see happen at once.

  11. Yes, but only at low costs.
    Otherwise, no at all.

    Cut off wings and diffusers and you will not any kers to see overtakes.

    1. And GP2 will be the pinnacle of motorsport…

  12. Yes – only if KERS is used to aid overtaking – ie, a push-to-pass tool, not a push-to-defend tool

    1. how can you possibly regulate that?

      1. should be pretty straight forward for the stewards … of cos, leeway should be given if a driver is passing another car while under attack.

        anyway, my point is overtaking is already so difficult nowadays, any tool that makes it even harder shouldnt be introduced to the sport

  13. Yes, and preferably make it more powerful as an incentive to make F1 greener. Since it’s power is capped, this can easily be achieved.

  14. The thing I don’t like about KERS is that it could create false racing. I hated seeing cars pass last year because they just had to press a button, which is why if it does make a return I’d like to see it as a standardised piece of equipment. That way the use of it should, in theory, be more down to the tactics of the driver than the effectiveness of the system.

  15. If it’s gong to have real world relevance, would be best to make it a continuous feed back, not a push to pass button. I don’t mind having it back, so long as we avoid space invaders…

  16. “Having a boost of power available on-demand can help drivers overtake.”
    – OH RLY?!?!?

    Keith, are you joking or what?
    We’ve all seen what KERS does to overtaking possibilities. You must’ve absentminded typing this :)

    1. Care to explain why you don’t agree? Because we saw quite a few KERS-assisted overtaking moves last year.

      1. But this was only when a KERS-assisted car tried to overtake a defenseless non-KERS car.
        There were more instances of when a KERS car was impossible to overtake, even for a faster car, because it served as a defensive weapon that only hindered overtaking.
        Wasn’t it so?

        1. Not always. Remember Button passing Alonso at Malaysia? Or his pass on Hamilton at Bahrain? Those were two of the best overtaking moves of the year for me – precisely because a driver in a non-KERS car made it past a KERS-equipped one. I’m sure there are other examples.

          1. Exception proves the rule.
            And you obviously couldn’t deny what I said.

  17. Yes and it should be free in my opinion.
    I share Dan’s reservations where above he says about how it can create false racing and if standardised it’ll be more about driver tactics but I do think that if some cars have it and other don’t it is still a battle of tactics to some degree such as Mas in Spain 09 against Vet. OK, it can be easier to get round on straights but the other driver can still defend.
    Having a free system also I feel is better for designers; they can focus design on some other areas that they choose to rather than being forced to work on KERS. Red Bull and Brawn chose not to have it last year and it worked out fine for them and yet it still managed to help throw Ferrari and Mclaren in the mix. Cars are very similar at the minute (possibly minus the RBR which I swear has been made by witch craft) so this could set them apart.

    1. I agree to 100%.

      1. Thank you very much OEL.

    2. (possibly minus the RBR which I swear has been made by witch craft)

      I think you may be on to something there.
      It couldn’t possibly be anything else really could it??

      And I completely agree with everytinh you said 100% also.

  18. yes, but it needs to be much more powerful than before , longer lasting and this time all the teams need to have it so we’ll see more exciting battles rather than one car drifting past another with ease like Raikonen at spa last year

  19. Yes without a doubt, but it must be introduced on every car. To clarify in the voting, i’m not fussed if each car has the same system or not (like whether or not the Williams flywheel or the McLaren/Ferrari battery system is used) but each car should have it.

    It could also be used to spice up racing. Yeah it’ll never happen, but giving those outside the top 10 in qualifying 1 extra second of boost per lap would be great.

  20. Bigbadderboom
    24th May 2010, 17:03

    Absolutly YES…
    The fact is that F1 needs to progress and survive in the real world. It needs to demonstrate to both its fans and its financers a will to move on, and although those that call themselves purists would argue it brings in a video game feel, unfortunatley the next set of fans are the video game generation and will be the fans that the sponsors will want to appeal to. Of course the other appeal for such developments is keeping the enviromentalists happy with green initiatives.
    I think as long as it development is open with no standard unit (Pointless to restrict innovation) and output from the unit is restricted, to basically encourage efficency and reliability development rather than power development, then we would see real world applications as well, and F1 will stay at the top of development in motorsport.

  21. Eventually the KERS systems can be used to give more power to the cars at the back and less power to the front-runners. Yep, I’m talking catch-up facility, mario kart style!

    Surely I can’t be serious…

  22. Marc Connell
    24th May 2010, 17:04

    i want kers, but i want to cut costs aswell for more teams. So i choose yes but all teams must use same style of kers. Best of both?

  23. Fred Schechter
    24th May 2010, 17:13

    Dear me, would this allow for road car directed innovation?! What is this, the good old days or something?!
    You want KERS to mean something, cut the fuel allowed even more, lop 2 cylinders off, and allow unlimited KERS. That’ll change the order of the day! (Yeah, it’ll put development costs right back into a big bucket of expensive, but the innovation of F1 would truly return, rather than the nearly spec cars of today).

  24. I would like to see KERS return but I do not want a spec system for the whole grid. I think that if it did return a car would probably have to have KERS to be competitive unlike last season so hopefully an affordable system would be available to all teams if they did not want to develop their own.

    If KERS does not return for 2011 then it should defiantly be included when the new engine regulations come into force.

  25. As far as im concerned i would want to see the 2 brits winning and good battles during a race but if KERS was introduced i believe this would only happen between the top teams which is good for what i want. Also mclaren seem to have/use a good kers system. If it was introduced agian then i think the cars which didnt use it in 2009 might be at a disadvantage unless its a redbull car ;)

  26. I think KERS minus many of the restrictions that were in place last year would be more appealing for the teams and better for the sport. Let the teams extract more performance out of the unit – more power, and more of it (not the 7 seconds or whatever it was in 2009).

  27. Well, I don’t agree with any of the options!

    KERS should be in F1, but as a part of the engine, not a power boost. It should be that having a better KERS means you carry less fuel, because it would do some of the work of the engine. I really don’t like the launch-control and push-to-pass aspects of KERS.

    So, seeing as it will be a LC and PTP device if it comes back, I guess I’ll vote no.

    But then, if it does come back, I think it should be open (and unrestricted), because that will drive creativity and its application to road vehicles, and it’s about time something other than aero development – and especially engine power/speed – could make a car improve significantly. A spec KERS might keep costs down, but would make no difference to the racing (as artificial as LC and PTP are, at least they do make things more interesting) as everyone would use it at the same spot 99% of the time (only if someone uses it to recover from a mistake and then gets nailed by someone using it at the optimum spot would standard KERS ever manufacture overtaking), and the only point of it would be its application to road technology, which in my mind should never be the #1 reason a technology exists in F1.

    So I guess open KERS for me, since it won’t be what I’d like it to be in time for next year.

    1. I agree with you on this.

      Next year they come in open technology. But given that all teams will not have the financial means to develop their own, they have an option to purchase the Williams Flywheel system. Being that the majority will be the new teams then, it will basically be all of the Cosworth teams using the same system, and everyone else developing their own.

      Then in ’13 when the engine regs are introduced KERS becomes an intergrated part of the engine, with very limited push-to-pass capability but is instead used to supplant the power a larger displacement engine would have. Thus increasing fuel-economy while maintaining the powers levels of today’s engine.

      Gaining performance from Weight savings instead of AERO.

  28. The Williams flywheel system is already available on the Porche 911.
    It was raced in the LeMans 24hrs and resulted in not only improved performance, but also a 25% improvement in fuel econonomy.

    1. I think Williams can be the company from where all the teams can buy their KERS as it is flywheel system where all the other teams that produced KERS in 2009 were battery powered. I think flywheel system is more efficient & less expensive then battery.

  29. I would rather see teams spend a fortune developing their own KERS systems which might improve the racing (and road car/environmental relevance),than spend a fortune developing aerodynamics which stiffles the racing and is of no use to anyone outside of motorsport. If KERS does return it must be allowed to provide more power than was permitted in 2009.

    1. Totally agree, the aero development should decrease & the teams, FOTA & FIA should put more concentration on engine & KERS. I even think that they should lift engine freeze.

  30. It should come back as a Free choice.

    If the kers units were all the same, then the benefit for passing would be cancelled out. If the benefits of kers is to be shown then engine companies should each make their own units to give variety throughout the grid. If every company has a kers in f1 it would probably mean the technology reaches roadcars quicker.

    Another thing is that I would wait until 2013 to reintroduce it, the same time as the new engines get used, and the kers would stay constant alongside the engines, to keep cost down. Perhaps allow each engine maker to refine the systems at the end of year one.

    1. KERS is already avaialable in road cars.

      Porsche 911 GTR

      1. dont think its in a production vehicle yet. Ive only heard of The willaims prosche project and the Ferrari “green” KERS car. Nothing that is sold to the public yet.

        1. I really mean a normal car that everyone has a realistic chance of driving, eg Renault, Mercedes or if rumours are to be beleived VW rather than Ferrari hybrids :P

  31. Mark Hitchcock
    24th May 2010, 18:21

    Yes if the rules change a bit from last time.
    I think the amount of uses should be per race, not per lap because it encourages slightly more strategic use of the KERS.
    When it’s per lap there are always going to be optimal points of the lap where it’s best to use it. When it’s per race a driver could use all his allocation up at the start to gain places on the grid or he could save it for later in the race when he needs to defend.

    Or if a driver knows their car isn’t very good whilst heavy with fuel then he’d use more of his allocation towards the start to stay ahead of the others until the car comes to him in the later stages.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      24th May 2010, 18:37

      Basically a similar set-up to how A1GP used their power-boost thing.

  32. Yes, but every team should have to use a KERS, unlike 2009.

  33. I’m all for KERS. Even when all teams have it it has it’s advantages as Keaith indicated.

    The teams were discussing how to keep costs in check. Not sure how they plan to do that, but at least it seems they have no intention of starting a development war on that front.

  34. Yes, and unlimited. And what’s all this stuff about “same specification KERS”?

    Newsflash: Max lost, and walked, so we never got mandatory spending caps or 2-tier technical regs. And F1…didn’t collapse!!! Renault didn’t walk even after Briatore turned its recent investements into a negative nett benefit. Mercedes came in as a full manufacturer. Red Bull continues to fund 2 teams. Ferrari and McLaren didn’t even think about walking. Toyota quit only after years of non return on investment and a looming global crisis (which problems they almost certainly knew about in advance). New blood is coming in, not least Branson and his gold. So, where’s the crisis, and why do we continue to be so welcoming to the notion of automatic closed technical innovation in every area?

    Another newsflash: we have a freeze on engine development and just about everything else imaginable, and some cars are still quicker than others.

    Allowing KERS would give us a period where some cars have it, some don’t, and this will lead to more overtaking. But that is not the reason it should be encouraged. It should be encouraged because the future of our species, even its short term future, is dependent on energy and energy efficiency, and KERS will either have direct economic and technical relevance to that, or it will have exploratory and symbolic relevance. This makes it a better area to free up development than, say, generic combustion technology. F1 KERS may or may not be relevant to road cars…like everything in F1, it will be developed in a narrow and esoteric application. But it will matter, and it won’t make things any duller than they are. In 2009 we had the most pathetically watered down interpretation of an allowable KERS system, with arbitrary and meaningless limits on the kJ it could store and the opportunity to deliver the recycled energy. And one team still developed it into a nett benefit over a race distance, spiced things up in the process, and then agreed to drop it only in the interests of political unity in the context of a larger conflict. So why are we so amenable to the idea that every innovation should automatically be legislated against lest (a) someone actually spends some money developing it, or (b) someone else will be left behind if they do? I’m left wondering when exactly F1 became a Communist endeavour, with technology and capital funnelled through a central controlling body, ‘for the common good’? Colin Chapman would turn in his grave. Spending is not a dirty word, neither is innovation. And handicapping the stronger players in order to prop up the weak ones…that’s what touring car racing is for, for heavens’ sake!

    And let’s stop fretting about costs and the wellbeing of vast corporations, while simultaneously bemoaning the borefests we get on Sundays, as if they’re unrelated. It’s no coincidence that as F1 has become a spec formula, it has tended to dry-weather parity where 50 laps can go by without a change of position. Let ’em innovate. It’ll sort itself out and the financial pain of certain players is a short-term issue that those players should fret about, not us fans.

    1. Someone posted a reply here which contained a link to an article about how much F1 has become a spec series, and how little real technology is now on F1 cars.

      Does anyone have the link or know what happened to the post? I thought it was an excellent article.

  35. I voted NO because I know they will over regulate it just as before.

    If the teams were given free reign to recover and use as much power as they possibly can with KERS, then I’d support it.

    1. Are you sure you didn’t mean to vote for option one?

  36. I think its inevitable. KERS will be back in the sport its just a matter of when and that is based on how developed and efficient the technology gets.

  37. I voted yes because it just epitomises what F1 is all about: innovation.

    Not sure if this is true but i’ve heard that in the early 90s Williams and McLaren had KERS in development but the FIA covertly banned it as they feared they couldn’t control it.

  38. No way!
    V10 should back.

  39. Sheraad Karimoeddin
    24th May 2010, 20:35

    If Lucas di Grassi have KERS in his car and Fernando Alonso did not have KERS, he would never get pass the Virgin. We would see a replay of Coulthard and Bernoldi…

  40. It’s either “Yes” with free reign or “No” not at all for me.
    I can’t decide.

    If it ends up being “Yes” full on, will it not turn into the turbo era all again, with two class racing?
    Those that have and those that have not…..
    Did the turbo era aid F1? Was it exciting racing?
    Did turbo development in the turbo era help road car turbo engines?

    Still haven’t decided. I’m more 60% yes I think.

    1. As Ferrari has allready signalled, it would deliver the system for a relativel low price (1.5 million EUR?) to their engine customers, and Renault promising to be able to deliver to any team interested for the same price, availability would not be as big a problem.
      And the systems would be further developed from 2009 on, so less groing pains.

  41. I agree with alot of what has been said above, KERS is new technology and thus should be in F1. It is the pinnacle of motorsport but for me F1 is meant to be about innovation.

    The way i see it is that if everyone has KERS it wont really improve anything. Did it improve overtaking in a battle of KERS car vs KERS car? As far as i can remember not really.

    Its the same as the F-duct, what difference does it make if they ban it or not, as by the end of the year am sure that most of the teams (except the new teams) will have the device, cutting out any advantage Mclaren had to begin with.

    In the end you should let the teams go off and do there own thing, that way you will get a diverse field of cars which each have there particular strengths thus allowing for more overtaking.

  42. newnhamlea1
    24th May 2010, 21:40

    I am realy starting to hate fota and their ‘gentlemens agreements’ it was much better when a team would come up with something and then everyone would try and develop something that is better, now they just ban it. KERS, Banned, F-Duct, Banned. how far will they go?

  43. Yes, and it shouldn’t be so regulated.

    As a fan, I don’t care about costs.

  44. chaostheory
    24th May 2010, 22:17

    2011? – no; it could make a mess again; they should reintroduce it together with new engines in…whenever theyre planning to introduce new specs for engines…2012/13?
    Unless they choose to use standard kers for all teams.

  45. Electrolite
    24th May 2010, 22:27

    Voted no. When KERS happened last time, certain teams had it, certain teams didn’t, and I can’t see it being any different if teams start to use it again. I don’t like it because team’s pace is then said to be soley because they have KERS; whenever Mclaren were remotely quick last year all we heard was ‘ahh KERS helped them’ and it just makes it hard to figure out who’s really quick and who’s just pressing a button.

  46. There are two issues here:

    1. Gaining power from recovering energy from the braking system.

    2. A button that receives a boost in bhp.

    In my opinion, the question of ‘KERS’ can be broken down because number 1. appeals to me, but 2. does not. So called ‘push to pass’ buttons are useless because the defending car will just ‘push to defend.’ We only saw it have an effect in 2009 because only a few teams could afford to develop it. I voted NO for that reason although the answer to ‘do I like KERS’ is actually YES!

    GOOD CHOICE-YES but all kers the same
    WORST and the choice of mclaren and ferrari-YES teams should have the choice

    why is no the best choice cause finnacially is better 2nd if every teams has theres no point and 3rd the stronger teams want to have their own kers to beat the others

  48. Bit late to the party (been travelling all day), but I will add my opinion.

    I think KERS should be an option for those teams that want it; they should be free to develop it with as few restrictions as possible. I don’t think KERS should even be required to be a “push-to-pass” button – if a team can build a system that works better as an “always-on” system, delivering extra power at a constant rate around the lap, then good for them.

    A standard system would be a waste of time. Teams would just use it to cancel one another out, like we saw with the power boost in A1GP. Standard components in F1 have rarely promoted overtaking.

  49. F1 is supposed to be the pinneacle of motorsport technology yes, but ONLY as far as it concerns SPORT. Environmental issues are not part of the sport. What I mean by that is that if you devellop a new technique it should benefit the RACING. If it happens to be good for the environment, then cool, if it’s not, then that’s OK too. If they make environmental issues the primary goal, they might as well all become hybrids or sunpowered cars that can’t go any faster than 60 km/h because a. the noise reduction, less noise = better for the environment and b. the danger that they might kill a cute pink cuddly bunny rabbit during the race is a lot smaller when they can’t drive that fast anymore. You see where I’m going with this. If it’s good for the sport and besides that it benefits the environment, sure, why not? But if it’s not, it should be in F1, regardless of environmental issues.

    With KERS I’m not convinced. I think that íf they reintroduce it, it should be free choice. The only thing good about KERS last year was that the KERS cars could win a lot of places (or crash into the cars before them!) at the start. During the race I thought it was used as a defence mechanism too much (especially when most cars had it) and with the overtaking being as hard as it is, I don’t really see a necessity to make that part of racing harder, it won’t benefit anyone. So I really really really don’t care wether they reintroduce it, but if they do, please with free choice, of they don’t I’m a happy camper as well.

    1. Why not allow KERS based technology as well as other engine based factors for improving the efficiency of a car?

      it is not mainly about being “green”, just having the best possible way to get power in a car like vehicle and put it on the tarmac to propel it and win races. That is what should be the target.

  50. NO, no, and no kers……… it just makes passing slower cars even more impossible!!!!!! as they hit the button and pull up, up, and away……. a real train without the wreck.

  51. If they reintroduce it let it be like normal road cars KERS, it saves energy under braking and automatically uses its power throughout the lap. That way it can be used continuiously and can be given the green tag.

    Going back to the button press, you’re not really green, it’s a plaster on a broken leg. You can’t tell me that we have to go to 18 inch rims because road cars have them, but have kers which uses a button boost which no road car has or will ever have… which is it, F1 helps road cars or not?

  52. Porsche has run a hybrid sports car at the Nordschleife, Ferrari is planning to put hybrid sports cars on the road and no doubt on the track as well. Very soon, F1 running without hybrid systems will be just as ridiculous as if the cars had gear shifts and clutch pedals. What cost? a $20K road car has a hybrid system more complex than the ones ran last year. If Toyota had a free hand to develop their technology for F1 they may have stayed in and they would have had good reason to. So let’s have it: 1.5 liter twin turbos, CVTs, and non-performance-limited hybrid systems.

  53. Push to pass is not real racing. Just a cheep gimmick.

    For those who say F1 is the pinnacle of technology, you are probably the same ones that say they don’t want traction control. There is a lot of technology not being utilized today . Traction control, active suspension, anti lock brakes, etc… All the other forms of technology are banned , so it should be with KERS.

    Tree huggers don’t give a damn about racing. If they had it their way, it would be banned also.

    1. The difference with those technologies is they exist primarily to diminish the driver’s role in piloting the car. You can’t say the same of KERS.

  54. KERS in its current iteration helps the defenders more than the attackers because it augments their first-mover advantage. As a result it decreases overtaking if all teams have a version. What overtaking is left over tends to be due to hitting a button at the right time – people may understand it but they don’t want to watch it.

    KERS have have green potential but it’s anti-competitive and should therefore be present only in those series which a) emphasise green technologies (such as energy-based competitions) or b) are structured such that KERS’ overtaking reduction is compensated for in other respects (e.g. endurance sportscars, where the length of races mean that a fuel-saving acceleration mode could become advantageous with a relatively small additional outlay). F1 fits neither category.

  55. Gwion Daniel
    25th May 2010, 1:12

    What’s the point of KERS? You could just as easily add a button that does away with the rev limiter on an engine for a certain amount of time per lap to the same effect, but with the added spectator bonus of potentially blowing the engine. Besides, it would cost a lot less than developing this ridiculous hybrid technology.

  56. The problem, Keith, is that although you say you like wheel to wheel racing, KERS creates an artificial version of that, because it takes the skill out of the actual racing to get a result that often will favour the KERS equipped cars.

    An example of which could easily be seen at the 2009 Belgian GP. Fisichella’s Force India should have easily won that race. His car was performing better, handling better, and Fisichella was putting in the performance of his career. But Kimi’s Ferrari won the race. Why? Not because the Ferrari was better or because Kimi was driving better, but only because – as he said himself – he had KERS. An artificial result created by a system that is designed to promote racing but slaps efforts by some teams and drivers in the face and distorting the wheel to wheel racing by more equalised cars.

    If Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari did NOT have KERS, the race would have been different, with a Force India on the top step of the podium and Ferrari second.

    How can that be good for F1 when cars that shouldn’t win do win – at the touch of a button.

    That completely undermines the wheel to wheel racing ethos that’s always discussed in F1.

    1. KERS creates an artificial version of that, because it takes the skill out of the actual racing to get a result that often will favour the KERS equipped cars.

      Why is that more artificial than the situation we have at the moment, where drivers can change the fuel mixture to a richer setting for periods of time to help with overtaking? Granted, KERS is more effective, but isn’t that just a difference of degrees?

      Fisichella’s Force India should have easily won that race. His car was performing better, handling better, and Fisichella was putting in the performance of his career. But Kimi’s Ferrari won the race. Why? Not because the Ferrari was better or because Kimi was driving better, but only because – as he said himself – he had KERS.

      I think you do Kimi Raikkonen a massive disservice. Ferrari chose to put KERS in their 2009 car and that forced compromises in other areas such as weight and aerodynamic performance which Force India didn’t have to make. Despite that, with KERS, it was competitive sometimes and Raikkonen made the most of it at Spa.

      Having that kind of difference in performance between cars is surely what F1’s all about?

  57. Let’s not forget that the KERS last year didn’t really increase overtaking, just made it harder for other cars to pass a KERS car. How many times did we see Hamilton bolt away on the straight and not get passed?

    I’m fine if the allow KERS, but I think it should only be activated by a car that’s behind another car. If they could set up a transponder or some kind of system that only allows the following car to use KERS then it may spice up the racing, otherwise if all the cars have KERS then we won’t see any more passing than we do now.

    As for the technology aspect, yes, I think it makes sense to include it in F!

  58. They should bring back KERS, but if they think that the thing producing all by themselves will be cost effective then they should use a standard KERS.
    Another thing is that KERS shouldn’t be limited by laps.So that the drivers can use as much as they produced by the brakes of the car.

  59. If all we cared about was the racing we would be watching Go carts or Formula Ford. We are interested in F1 – the cutting edge of Motorsport.

    In my humble opinion the teams should be allowed to use whatever device,as long as it is safe for drivers, officials and fans and does not adversly interfere with its competitors to provide the fastest car round the track. Using KERS makes sense; then again, so does Active suspension and turbo chargers.

    I guess there have to be some rules, budgetary constraints, safety, limitations of fuel & tire use to make these cars applicable to real world. There should be some rules in regards to aerodymanic wake.

    I think the FIA should be looking at creating more diversity with cars rather than conformity. Lets reward ingenuity and innovation in all areas.

    If only there was a way of stopping teams cheating on budgets it would be a lot easier!

    25th May 2010, 3:23

    I find that watching a pinacle sport, with the closest racing and the Legends of our day.

    Lately i’ve been watching MotoGP, the pinacle of two wheel racing and it’s been alot of fun watching the fastest two wheel racing at the edge of biking technology with close death defying racing with relatively green/cheap machines just Less glamorous than F1.

    I want to have that same kind of racing with a budget that’s affordable to private teams and close racing with the likes of Senna Vs Mansell. But with cars that are Moving Engineering/Science projects.

    So maybe a 1.8L racespec bio diesel VVT Direct Injection engine twin turbo with a lighter fuel tank due to the diesel burn rate, to accomodate a flywheel KERS.

    Or the 1.3L DI VVT twin Turbo engine proposed in 2013.. but to come out sooner..

    Wake technology that doesn’t involve snowplow front wings for obvious front wing to gear box racing that is more forgiving to front wing damage.

    Active Suspension, AND KEEP THE F-DUCT! drivers have been as busy with the car as Drivers used to be with H panel gearboxes.

    1. YES! YES YES YES!
      25th May 2010, 3:26

      “I find that watching a pinacle sport, with the closest racing and the Legends of our day the most entertaining form of sport.”

  61. I went with no, but I wouldn’t be too unhappy with a standardised KERS.

    The problem I have with a KERS with free development, is that simply put, big budget teams like Ferrari and Mclaren (we saw this last year) will have good ones, and Sauber or Lotus will not. I feels to much like an artificial grid spreader device.

    Now before I get flamed I’m not saying it should be a spec series, I’m just saying I’d prefer if they would for instance, relax rules regarding the engines, it will similarly spread the grid but why to you want Ferrari to be ahead, because they have a more powerful engine? or because they have a better kinetic energy recovery system?

    I understand the green ness of KERS, (god I hate the word green now) but surely that could be better accomplished by having a passive system, that just increased the cars power as a matter of course, without requiring any fiddly buttons or commentators ignoring the race to talk about it.

  62. I voted to bring it back but only because there was no option to bring it back when the new engine regs come in.

    The whole system needes to be designed together, the way it worked last year achieved verylittle.

    1. the way it worked last year achieved verylittle.

      The decision to allow double diffusers hurt teams that had gone for KERS because the areas used for the KERS and batteries prevented them from using the airflow to the diffuser to its maximum.

      Despite that KERS cars won three races last year.

  63. deffo bring kers back, but in a different specification.

    i mentioned last time that i think the units should have a variable output but only be able to deliver a finite amount of energy per lap. this would allow the drivers to go from a low output with long duration to high output with short duration. same as the variable turbo boost from the 80’s, and would help reduce the common ‘hit the button now’ you get with fixed output systems.

  64. Christian Biddon
    25th May 2010, 8:22

    I have nothing against KERS and think is added to last years season. However, when the FIA were trying to cut team costs and at the same time forcing them to develop the KERS systems at a MASSIVE cost was a bit hypocritical.

    OK, I know they were not forced into developing KERS but teams like Williams can’t afford to not have it and can’t afford to develop it so they were forced in a way.

    I say a ‘standard’ KERS is developed, probably by Mclaren as they supply all the electronics anyway, and it is sold to the teams for a reasonable price.

  65. If KERS is supposed to be part of F1’s green agenda then I think there is an opportunity to create a relatively free development environment whilst really focusing on the efficency and “green” credentials of the system.

    Rather than limiting power or application of KERS why not limit the carbon debt or waste generated by a system. This could apply to R&D, manufacture and/or use on the track.

    One of the concerns about last year’s electical KERS systems was their batteries would only last one or two races before they were scrapped (not very “green”). The Li-ion batteries used require large amounts of precious metals that are difficult and hazardous to extract and process. Once used these metals can rarely be recovered from a degraded battery.

    If a limit was put on the use of components in a season (similar to engines and gearboxes) we might see some really innovative solutions being developed, rather than just going straight down the shortest route and using old fashioned technology.

  66. My thoughts: either give them free rein or don’t let them do it at all. I’m leaning toward the latter because I’m not sure it’s really contributing much to the show, other than maybe the start. Ultimately, if they all give out similar power-weight ratios, they will all have the same gains, and it’ll all just cancel out.

  67. If you don’t have some form of limit on KERS output you will simply have Ferrari, McLaren and RedBull spending upteen millions on something that will be much better than everyone elses, but it will no longer be road car relevant and moves away from what is actually required for road car mass production.

    You can’t allow these teams to gain an advantage just because they can afford it.

    KERS should not be allowed to be a performance differentiator, but maybe it could be something that can be used in a strategic way.

    If you allow free rein on KERS you will then also find that the FIA have to cut the power of the engines to prevent the cars going too fast along the straights.

  68. Another against is the fact it is not green. The bateries were replaced with new units at every race.

    The only real green solution would be to adopt William’s flywheel.

  69. yes overall, and it should be the same to keep costs down, just like the common ECU. but i would argue that it should be more powerful, and last for a longer burst time, but those times or windows should be limited in the race so that when one car is using them to overtake, the other doesnt use it to defend and neutralize KERS.

    that way drivers will have to be very smart in how they use their allocation of say 20 boosts….

    1. But the main reason for going for a standard ECU was to be able to police things like tractions control and active suspension things. The cost factor is secondary and it would be the same with KERS – only something to add to the “show” or make it look more “green”.

      IF F1 wants to get back to the pinnacle of motorsport technology it needs to find ways to improve the basics of the car, i.e. drivetrain (Engine, Kers, gearboxoptions, 4wd with electrical engines etc.) and mechanical parts, without overshooting on the cost side.

      1. Yeh I thought the standard ECU was to police things, not cost reduction

  70. the Sri Lankan
    25th May 2010, 14:09

    yes, KERS should come back but only when all the teams can afford it and have a fully stable version working in their cars by pre season testing in 2011. otherwise no. whats the point? last time we had it ALMOST all the major teams had it and F1 looked like an open wheel form of lemans series. and Keith i dont think using KERS as an excuse to lure manufacturers will have them running towards f1. KERS is 1 type of technology, which itself is an expense not to mention the full expenses of running a whole team. if manufacturers are to come to F1 some restrictions need to be loosened, promote innovation and some loopholes need to be arranged. otherwise KERS itself is a poor excuse for tempting maufacturers to join F1

  71. Cost aside. Apart from aero tweaks the teams are pretty much stuck when it comes to innovation elsewhere.

    Bring it back but let them do what they like to it. If the smaller teams struggle they could always do a deal to use one of the bigger teams devices. Possibly as a development partner.

  72. Well of course KERS should be in F1, as F1 is totally relevant to road car technology and is completely green.

    After all, how else can the KERS in my singleseat open wheel car that I drive to work be developed so that I can hit 200mph instead of the measley 170mph it is capable of now? It’s completely important that we all have that. The systems already developed in the last decade by Toyota and Honda in their hybrid and electric cars simply won’t do the trick.

    And the fact that the batteries need replaced so often simply means that F1 will be creating new technology for disposal in a completely green and planet-friendly way of disposing of thse batteries, and bringing jobs to a whole new industry as well.

    F1 must continue on in this vein, and forget about the racing, as being green and road relevant is surely more important than the actual racing.

    1. I, for one, am picking up on your sarcasm there bud. ;)

  73. The entire concept of “GREEN” racing is ridiculous on the face of it, IMHO.

    We are attempting to get around a closed circuit as quickly as possible; we not attempting to save fuel, or tires, or reduce emissions or production costs. Its a race, pure and simple.

    Kers belongs in the tech trash bin along with active suspensions. Can’t ban one and not the other.

    If I want to watch “spec” racing I have the IRL. Same chassis, same engines, same tires.

    What is so revolutionary or tech about every team bolting on the same spec Kers unit???

  74. KERS should come back!!!

  75. dsob, missed your comment before posting mine. You stated my position with a lot more elegance and style.

  76. I’ve been watching Indycar this year to try and get back into it and so far, so good. I’d still rather watch a processional boring F1 race than the most exciting Indycar race imaginable however it is a good 2nd.

    They have been using a “push to pass” button which in effect, is the same as KERS. The major difference there though is that they limit the amount of times it can be used in the race. If you only have 40 times you can use KERS in a 70 lap race, you can’t just hit the button every time someone comes up behind you as happened last time when the KERS equipped cars were never going to passed.

    If you are stuck behind someone but are getting good traction out of a bend, see if you can get the driver you’re following to use their KERS without you using it, use KERS later in on the straight when the guy you’re following isn’t expecting it, use some race craft!!

    KERS was boring because all it meant was the teams who had it would jump 3 or 4 positions off the start and couldn’t be passed.

    IMO, make it manditory, limit the effect it can have so that everyone can be on a level playing field and limit the times you can use it so that it works out as less than 1 a lap. How about, 30% of the total laps can have KERS used on them (more than once on 1 lap if required..)

  77. Younger Hamilton
    25th May 2010, 18:27

    I think KERS should return but all teams should use the same developed specification,this will help teams save costs and run KERS at the same time plus KERS is environmentally friendly but the disadvantage of it is that KERS is used to overtake and defend in F1 so overtaking is still gonna be hard because the car in front is just going keep using it to defend lap after lap and is going to depend on bravery and the Car’s straight line speed and is not going to make overtaking much easier.Another Advantage is that F1 is the leading force of car Technology,so making KERS work in F1 will surely push car manufacturers to installing it into their future cars

  78. Johnny Legg
    25th May 2010, 21:53

    I’d like to see a return of KERS but the rule that restricts the use of X amount of uses per lap lifted.

    i wonder if the engine management system was allowed to take over and use it -as and when required – How much fuel they would be able to save whilst maintaing the speeds that we’ve become accustomed to?

    It might evolve some technology that actually makes it in to road cars…. rather than the other way round.

  79. Having kers can be exciting. I think the kers use makes horrible cars like Lotus able for overtaking cars not too good like the Force India’s cars, for example, or even it can make cars like Renault’s car able to overtake cars of top teams ( like Ferrari or Mercedes for example ). I’m all for it.

  80. Matthew McMahon
    26th May 2010, 1:01

    I think the F Duct has proven to be a big rival for the KERS system. It performs more or less the same task as KERS but with less of the weight so it seems like it is the more sensible option.

  81. I think F1 need KERS to take a step closer to the car side of things again.

    But i think the teams should choose if they want it and second where they want it from.

    If everyone has the same system then there will be no advantage or disadvantage of it! so it will be a complete waste of money.

    So let them go work it out. Cant Wait To See Lewis Use The KERS Again.. Like He Needs It, 32 Overtakes Without It ;)

  82. I voted option 1 – Yes with a free choice. Say put a limit on the maximum energy it can store but let the individual driver decide if they want 200hp for 2 seconds or 50hp for 8 seconds for example. Give them control the change it via the steering wheel with brake bias.

  83. I voted No because I hate power boost races. It would make more sense if a kers system could be used to save fuel.
    And please do not force everyone to use the standard kers. I want f1 teams to be constructors of their own stuff.

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