F1 teams to abandon KERS in 2010

2010 F1 season

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more: F1 2010 rules: KERS to stay

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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77 comments on “F1 teams to abandon KERS in 2010”

  1. Could it be McLaren?

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

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

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

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

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

      2. I just agree with you NDINYO, spot on!

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

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

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

    1. bang on. Sir Frank sticking it to the man, as usual

      1. I really wanted to see how Williams fly wheel KERS would do

        1. I think inadvertently you have – it’s unreliable and unproductive, so much that Williams don’t see it worthwhile to use.

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

  4. It’s surely either Williams or Mclaren

    1. has to be

      1. I’d go with Williams as FOTA will stick together with ideas

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

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      20th August 2009, 19:37

      It’s not being banned :s

    2. That’s very one-sided. Especially considering that both teams are seeing the same benefits from it now.

    3. you don’t really mean that, do you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  8. @mp4-19b

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      20th August 2009, 20:32

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      1. You can always regulate KERS usage so that it cannot be used for the first 30 seconds or so, if that’s the concern.

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

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


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

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

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

    1. Agreed.

      Too bad the FIA have planck-length brains.

  16. Aaah yes, as I said in a previous post, I would wait with bated breath before I actually believed that KERS would be allowed next year. As it is almost undoubtedly McLaren who will be the only team to use it, it is unlikely to be authorised after all. I thought it was too good to be true. What I find pretty revolting is how fair McLaren are, and how spiteful and unfair the other teams seem to be. Not one team or driver supported Lewis and McLaren over his Spa appeal last year, and yet McLaren were one of the teams that wrote to support Alonso and Renault over the Hungary appeal this year. McLaren didn’t oppose the Schumacher testing either. And yet any legal advantage they might have by dint of spending money and the skill developing this KERS system is denised them by the other teams. Just loathsome.

    1. Here, here!

  17. If it’s not McLaren they you would have to hear the board asking Haug how a race-winning, and fabulously expensive technical advantage was simply given away to make a nice with competitors.

    I wouldnt care if Williams or McLaren ran it alone. When Williams came out with active suspension and laid waste to the field, I said bully for them. That’s F1: work smarter, work harder, or get dusted. This is not a childs’ brithday party where the pinata is lowered for the younger kids.

    F1 has always been about technical leaps forward by a few, and catch up by the rest. And in all events, the move forward through innovation. The idea that the racing is ruined by technology and advanced design is not the “received view” among afficionados. In fact if you don’t know or don’t care who Gordon Murray, Adrian Newey, Tony Southgate, etc, are, you are probably not an afficionado as much as a simple spectator, whose interest is limited to what does or doesn’t happen for a hour and 45 minutes on a Sunday.

    1. Excellent post. That is an excellent way of telling a real fan from a poser. If you know just the drivers and the teams you dont understand the whole package.
      the technology is the reason F1 is the way it is and the rationale that limiting cost will make for better racing is rediculous.
      Open wheel racing in the US is sad and they all use the same chassis and motor for the most part.
      This ruse they are starting with limiting budgets downward is only going to make the big players find a different way to get in the testeing they need, ban or not. They can form teams that only exist to test and willnot fall under the FIA jurisdiction.

      The more you limit and choke innovation, the worse the situation will get.

    2. I agree wholeheartedly with you DMW. Well said. Only thing I could add would be that apparently Max and the FIA, and Bernie for that matter too these days, (even though he employed Murray), have forgotten who those people are.

    3. Florida Mike
      21st August 2009, 2:20

      Excellent argument. Can I add Colin Chapman to that list. I remember watching Andretti/Peterson walking away from everyone who didn’t have ground effects.

      I understand that the cost, complexity and safety issues of KERS make it an easy (and logical) target for elimination. I probably won’t miss it from F1, even though the Hybrid road cars we might eventualy buy might evolve a little slower without this advanced proving ground.

  18. I’m all for getting rid of big ugly wings and bringing back ground effect, brabham style! :D (hiccup!)

  19. It will be mclaren. If they can get a podium finish in the rest of the races that will promote kers!

    1. hey! now thats a good idea :)

      1. oh! sorry misread your post! thought you said
        ‘IF they fail to get a podium” without kers. Maybe mclaren should do away with kers for a couple of races, just to see how they fare against the rest. Atleast this way the FIA midgets will get to know the usefulness of kers. i suspect they will not finish on the podium without kers.

  20. Prisoner Monkeys
    21st August 2009, 1:14

    I don’t think it would be a FOTA team who want to run KERS, especially since the other FOTA teams are against it.

  21. I’m thrilled by that news. For some reason, I hate F1 cars being high voltage machines with the gloves and what-not.

  22. After so much investment, I think it is hard to criticise whichever tema it is. And after so much input, I would have hoped that MORE than one team would have choosen to have kept it going, although only if it was a viable opportunity for any team. Which, I suppose, it isn’t.

  23. Got to be Williams.
    Wonder what would have happened when their flywheel contraption came flying out of it’s housing at 60,000 RPM?
    Anyhow I read recently they were still working on it to get it operational for their car. (And I thought possibly for road car application?)

    1. It would severe the head of nico rosberg :( (if he’s still driving for them in 2010).


      1. the other link isn’t correct, here’s the correct one

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

    2. wow, 60,000rpm. That wld be fast. One wonders how this would affect the handling. With all that angular momentum, it might be a fraction less responsive round the corners. Would be very interesting to see in action against mclaren’s and ferrari’s.

  24. The 8 FOTA team agreed that they will no use KERS next year, but the other 5 can – the rules allow it…

    I think that should be cut out of the rules… after all that bull**it about costs… developing this system cost millions… So why? We is making money with this? Not the F1 Teams… Maybe Bernie, Maybe Mosley… I’d almost bet that have some shares from some companies that provide parts for the system or consulting… It all about money all always!

  25. i’ve seen a video of that williams flywheel based kers. the flywheel is located just behind the drivers head! isn’t that dangerous. just imagine what would happen if the flywheel were to break loose from the connecting shaft? it would almost certainly severe the drivers head!!Wont a Mechanical Flywheel KERS create some gyroscopic effects on the F1 cars, since they’re so sensitive to any little adjustment.Although two flywheels could cancel out the total inertia when turning, the stresses between the gyroscopes would be tremendous when turning. I think we will still need a gimbal system. what about using two discs spinning in opposite directions?? as the engine itself creates gyroscopic effect,KERS can be used to reduce it. correct me if i’m wrong.


    1. the other link isn’t correct, here’s the correct one


    2. ah i see, you were having the same thoughts as me. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see it up against mclaren’s?

  26. No Max, No KERS; what an extraordinary coincidence! Doesn’t anyone remember that the KERS concept was forced down the throats of the sport by good old Max? Most of the teams initially resisted, but had to climb aboard once BMW (curse their name!) insisted on pursuing it.

    I also think it’s the possible influence of the new teams; having to develop a KERS (or buy someone elses system) must be seen as a superfluous added expense.

    I think it will go away for a year or two and possibly make a comeback. I also agree it’s probably Williams not going along to get along. Frank always gets his monies worth on whatever he is forced to spend; possibly by selling his system to those new teams.

  27. No KERS if it is expensive

  28. Paige Michael-Shetley
    21st August 2009, 4:16

    I bet it’s Williams. They’ve already said that they’re not bound by FOTA regarding any self-determined technical “regulations” and will thus go their own way. They likely want to put their flywheel system to the test, and let’s not forget that they’ve been at loggerheads with the other teams (particularly Ferrari) the whole year.

  29. Only one team running KERS in 2010?

    Yep, It’s got to be Williams

    Winners again – soon

  30. Could be either Mclaren or Ferrari.

    Mclaren, because they are vocal in their support of KERS. Ferrari because they are the only team to have used it every race.

    KERS is a huge waste of money. The regulations limiting the use of it to just 6.6 seconds imply that you hardly have any advantage. Why did this one team have to break the ranks!!!

    Can’t be Williams. The flywheel behind driver’s head will be deemed dangerous by FIA, first thing. And in light of recent accidents, can you blame FIA?? Also, I haven’t heard a single word about the flywheel KERS since April. I am pretty sure, they have abandoned it.

    1. KERS is a huge waste of money

      sumedh, are those “Rose Tinted Spectacles” blinding you from seeing the real facts?? i suggest you clean them up :) But i’m in agreement with you regarding the williams kers.Their system is too radical & too complicated to be functional in a formula 1 car. They might just use their kers as ” a ‘bargain” to get back into FOTA.

  31. KERS is not new technology. It’s only new to F1. It was developed for road cars well before it’s introduction to F1 cars. F1 would help it’s development perhaps, but I struggle with F1 being a road car laboratory. We only see the most exotic road sports cars with real F1 tech, and I’m not talking about paddle shifters on a Pontiac Grand Prix. It doesn’t take F1 to engineer a sequequential gear box and make it road worthy. Doubtful it’s even made road cars any better (except for the exotics perhaps). Kind of like painting green stripes around tires to highlight environentalism in F1. Whatever.

    They should concentrate on rule stability and lower costs for the teams, and improving the F1 experience both at the track and on the TV for the fans. I mean, what’s the point of showing the tach on a rev-limited engine? And the KERS display is awful, never mind the complete absence of any indication of when drivers are utilizing their movable front wings. With so little passing it’s still amazing how many are missed by the TV producers trackside.

  32. I’m thinking all or nothing. Either all teams use KERS or none of the teams use it.
    And what about a system that distributes the power back to the engine constantly, from the KERS, rather than this pushing the turbo boost button as such. This way making cars run more efficiantly in genral. This could tie in well with the new no refuling regulations.

    1. How will that be achieved? Solar panels?

  33. Williams have always maintained that they are nor part of FOTA hence not bound by any agreements reached within that association.

  34. I’m not that bothered about which team won’t be abandoning KERS just yet. I find it more interesting that it is still in the rules as an available option, at a time when Max and his cronies are supposedly demanding cost cutting and fewer personnel on the teams.
    In one sense, the FOTA teams are making a mistake, as the rules are allowing them to continue development of the system, and are allowing for heavier cars too. Now is the time for the engine gurus to spend proper time at their drawing boards and work benches creating the perfect system, and they can spend all next year doing it, if need be.
    In the meantime, it would be interesting to see the KERS and non-KERS cars continue to battle it out – as mentioned earlier, it is very similar to the turbo/non-turbo battles of a previous generation, and each type of engine/car/driver combination has its advantages and disadvantages at different circuits.
    Are we really willing to sit back and watch a parade of identical cars unable to race each other because they have identical engines and identical aerodynamics? Where has the spirit of innovation, adventure and pioneering gone?

  35. Let us just hope that the FIA and FOTA can sort out the rules and regs once and for all so we can get back to what we love best – great F1 racing. Max was the “wonderkid” who insisted on KERS. Some teams took to it, some did not. Let’s have F1 back where it belongs. Great competition, great racing, great drivers. How many of you are fed up with all the controversy? I know I am. There are going to be some cars that are better and more reliable than others. I grew weary of the Schumacher/Ferrari days. We are at least getting more competition with the drivers showing their skills and the teams backing them. I tend to agree with DGR-F1 let’s have the innovation and competitive attitude back. I does get boring watching a race when the cars are just a steady stream of identical cars driving around the track. As for KERS, McLaren seem to be doing rather better now than at the beginning of the season but was all the monetary input worth it? I love F1 and of course I do have my preferred Team and driver but I really do not relish going back to the old Schumacher/Ferrari days. These drivers are skilled and at their peak so here is to 2010 where there is flexibility, safety and enjoyment of what is the best sport in the world. As for the refuelling issue – time will tell.

  36. Williams and controversy. Fitting together almost as well as McLaren fans and a persecution complex. ;)

  37. sunny stivala
    29th August 2009, 9:31

    Keith Collantine do you honestly don’t know who is the team that voted against the use of KERS next year?

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