KERS return could improve racing – Simon

Posted on

| Written by

The FIA’s director of powertrain and electronics, Gilles Simon, has given another indication that F1 could return to using Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems soon.

He stressed the potential benefits of reintroducing KERS in an interview with the FIA magazine In Motion:

I think that could actually add to the show because with reduced displacement engines and lower torque, you could use additional electrical torque to differentiate between the cars, while at the same time developing and showcasing hybrid technology and performance that will be used in passenger cars.
Gilles Simon

Although Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems are legal under the current F1 rules, the teams have entered into an agreement not to use the devices this year.

To prevent a team from breaking the agreement the FOTA teams have apparently agreed that should anyone run an F1 car with with KERS in a race they would pay a significant financial penalty to the others. Several F1 teams made a similar agreement not to break ranks over Max Mosley’s budget cap plan last year.

Simon added the FIA could look into running a fully-electric formulae in some classes:

The trend towards smaller turbocharged engines in passenger cars is going to make them less noisy. But I am an engineer and I love the noise as it’s a main part of the show. I think it would be useful to test a fully electric formula to understand how we can deal with a no-noise engine and to see if there is some route for that. In rallying, for example, you could have silent cars at some phases of the event and noise at others.
Gilles Simon

Read the full interview with Simon on the FIA website.

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

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

26 comments on “KERS return could improve racing – Simon”

  1. Push The Button
    30th April 2010, 14:42

    I think its fair to say F1 has to embrace hybrid technologies, even with a view to full electric, though am not sure that will be the ultimate future of transport.

    Interesting point about the lack of noise though… we could have different noises to differentiate the cars. Some could wail like a fire engine, others scream like a tornado fighter jet, we could even have the occasional ice cream van ;)

    1. David Johnson
      30th April 2010, 14:49

      Like your thinking !!! But what about theme tunes for each driver…with teams employing a dj to handle overtaking events…?

      1. Jaime Alguersuari would have a great time!

    2. Hamilton could have that rap song that goes ‘They see me riding, they hatin’…’ ;-)

      Perhaps with a few neons underneath too!

      1. nah, Hamilton could bust out a bit of Pussycat Dolls.
        Nico Rosberg a bit of Britney Spears.

        Just a logical extension of Bernie’s “F1 Rocks” concept.

    3. I think I’ve said this before, but if i was a driver I’d hack the sound system so it played something like “Margaret Thatcher’s* greatest speeches”

      *insert any politician here, just used Margaret Thatcher cos everyone would know who she was.

      1. bernification
        1st May 2010, 5:23

        For Thatcher read Hitler- Godwins law- all over hahaha

  2. Whether you’re bothered about climate change or not fossil fuels will at some point become uneconomical to use in racing. Since Motorsport has to move away from fossil fuels in the long term, the question is whether or not the governing bodies will prescribe what form of new technology has to be used, or a battle of ideas will be fought out to find the most effective technologies offer the best alternative.

    The Isle of Man TT is going about it the right way with the TT zero event which allows any form of propulsion so long as it doesn’t produce any carbon emissions. As for the noise as the electric bikes that went round at last years TT sounded very quiet and nothing like we’re used to but I quite liked the futuristic sound myself.

    F1 obviously cannot go fully electric overnight but I do hope as they introduce alternative technologies its done so giving the teams the flexibility to innovate and discover the most suitable technologies.

    1. The nois is part of the fun though, everybody who visited a GP must admit that.

      I think using hybrid technolegy to effectively add to the power when needed is a good step for F1 or most forms of competition motorsports.

      Maybe you are right though that a noiseless bike or car swishing by at 200 mph is a completely new wow experience.
      So lets get on with the competition, when they will be really competitive let it enter MotoGP or F1 and give the current technology a beating. Just like diesel power did in endurance racing, but taken a stride further.

      I think i changed my thoughts on this during the writing :-}

  3. When I was a kid I attached plastic strips to rub against the spokes on my bmx to generate noise! I want noise, its all part of the experience that makes motor racing great.

    One of my fondest motoring memories is when I first heard a top fuel dragster full throttle at Santa Pod. That sound will stay with me forever, and it’s something no motor race can do without in my opinion.

  4. Robert McKay
    30th April 2010, 15:28

    I’m sure I read on Joe Saward’s GP blog about a plan for an electric grand prix in France or somewhere, a few months back. Anyone have a better memory than me on this?

    1. Google has a pretty good memory.

      That’s about a race for electric cars rather than an F1 race though.

  5. Whether we like it or not, it will happen.In a very few years, about 5 years or so, all cars will have hybrid technology,and electric city cars will be commonplace.

    Apart from the enviromental issues, so many tracks in the UK and Europe are being restricted on the amount of racing days that they can have, on noise issues alone.

    My eight year old son, is very unlikely to ever drive a petrol or deisel powered car.

  6. Does anyone know what the rules will be if they bring KERS back next year? Will it still be limited to 85hp?

    I recall hearing somewhere that teams might be able to freely develop KERS if they made certain financial concessions.

    Maybe I’m just dreaming…

    1. As far as I’m aware, Kers can legally be brought back next year or any time and there isn’t a rule against it. The ban was self impsoed by FOTA so it’s up to them if and when they bring the system back. I read that Renault and Ferrari had plans for it to now cost under 1 mil euroes (possibly from autosport) and that it was being looked at seriously for 2011.

  7. add to the show. So tired of that phrase.

    If they bring it back I hope it’s not under the same dismal 09 regulations we all know how much it added to the show last year (rather took away from the show).

    When/if they bring it back they need to think long and serious about it to prevent another 09 fiasco where it was used as a defense tool instead of attack tool making it impossible for a non kers car to overtake. With all cars having KERS I don’t see much of an advantage unless you possibly limit the time how long it can be used at once and how soon after it’s used before you can use it again. On most tracks the 6 some seconds they where allowed per lap was more then enough to defend the entire lap. A seconds on the start straight, another on a long straight and out of a important corner and saving a second or two for the final corner exit. With the free use as in 09 the power advantage vs the weight disadvantage wasn’t enough.
    Look at Indy for example. They have a overtake button gives another 9bhp (yes only nine) but you only get 20 uses in an entire race and it will only give you a set time boost and you have to wait a set time before you can use it again.
    Sometime they manage to make it work but they would like to see a bit extra power boost to make it a true useful tool.
    How I seen it used is car 2 hit the button onto the straight, car 1 discover the use and hit his own to protect. Car2 gets a reset and hit the button again if time right car 1 does not get a chance to hit his button again due to the multiuse time delay and car 2 can get up besides on the inside for the corner. If the straight is to long car 1 can hit his button again and edge ahead to have inside corner advantage.
    If the straight is to short or car 2 hit the button to late he don’t get a chance to hit it a second time to help himself position right for the corner advantage.
    With unlimited or per lap time limited usage two cars with KERS would use the button equal much no the straights and corner exits and we are back at zero.

    On electric powered series or what not. It would be interesting to open up engine development and allow alternative fuel options. Say limit emission and fuel amount then let the teams bring their own solution to the table. Maybe we would end up with Biodiesel F1 cars, 4 or 6 cylinder low liter turbo charged ethanol engines, entirely electrical engines, hydrogen cars, liquid nitrogen, compressed natural gas and hybrid combinations. Of course the trick becomes how to limit or ensure a equal playing field so that someone don’t come with a 1200bhp engine or somethng else that would be unbeatable. Limit to a max bhp? Could’nt limit by rev a diesel needs less rev to produce superior torque and power then a regular gas engine, electrical revs totally different.

    Eletric engine car now you finally can hear the car stereo while driving ;)

    1. agree with the unlimited usage of KERS bit, cos pilots will tend to defend even more their possitions. Hope they make a regulation to it, like the Indy Overtake button ;)

  8. I very much favour the return of KERS in a completed de-restricted manner to stimulate development of what is one of the few road-relevant technologies in F1.

    I really hope they don’t play around with it like they did for it’s introduction with energy allowances or push to pass. By it’s nature it’s push to pass so sporting regulations controlling this is just pointless.

    I would still like to see what someone could do with KERS energy driving a supercharger which normally robs the engine of power. Could this be the holy grail, a lagless forced induction?

  9. the racing is better this year compared to last.
    Barcelona will probably be better than previous years even if it dosen’t rain

  10. Mark in Florida
    1st May 2010, 0:02

    I say yea lets go fully electric.But instead of the cars being quiet. They can have super loud KERS driven amps powering big speakers that imitate whatever car you choose.Instead of sounding like a crappy golf cart on steroids you too can sound like the legendary V12`s of old. Me I would go for the BRM V16 1.5 SUPERCHARGED from 1954. The sound of that engine screaming wide open sends a thrill through I have a soundtrack of that car making laps at Silverstone and it is awesome to bad the car wasn`t as great as it sounded.

  11. Well this is a bit full of analogies but…Here is hoping they keep Fuel based engines! I think it kinda like horse racing. In the old days horses were used for everything work,transport,entertainment and so on. Now they a pretty much just for sport..Hopefully petrol based cars with a hybrid/electric boost will be the future of F1.. I say “lay off the thoroughbreds”, Go green by looking at the Transporters and logistical reductions. They say the world is becoming obese no one has told olymipc athleats to put on a few KG’s, A bit off topic but you could never replace the smell, sound, vision of F1. that is the SHOW

  12. I think the prospect of cars racing around a track with speakers imitating the sounds of machines of the yester year is just awful, it is soooo pastiche. We could have some playing the tune of the ice cream truck, some with steam engines, some the sound of a very fast horse and carriage…prehaps even migrating gease?

    why dont they also encourage development of biofuel from algae, or from the molecular rearragnment of co2, h2o, and make it so teams also have to make their own fuel?? This is a viable alternative, because hydrocarbons are a good source of energy, but we can be a lot smarter about how they are produced.

    I, for one, do not want to watch electric egg beaters racing eachother around the track, complete with sub-woofers and neon lights.

    1. oh and don’t get me wrong, i support the idea of kers making a come back, as it would be a great place for F1 to allow technical competition between teams, i would rather see R&D budgets spent on that the aero.

  13. I thought it was already agreed and decided that kers would be back next year…

  14. ” I love the noise ”

    Me too what is F1 without the rumble of those 2.4 litres V8 @ 18000 rpm.

  15. There’s a man (I use the term loosely) lives near me who has a ‘turbo wastegate noise box’ wired up to his Rover 200. It’s seriously embarrassing and I hope that F1 never goes down that road. LOL

Comments are closed.