KERS to make a comeback for 2011


Staff Member
In another classic case of F1 not knowing its KERS from its elbow, the push-to-pass system is set to make a comeback for next year after the FOTA-enforced ban lapses.

It still won't be compulsory though and some teams (Lotus for one) have already stated they won't be running KERS, but that may change by the time testing starts for next season.

Ferrari have already confirmed they will be using KERS which is interesting considering they were instrumental in getting it banned. Perhaps they've managed to get it working properly now they've had an additional year to work on it

Of course one of the major problem with KERS was the weight, which stopped designers from getting optimum balance in the car. That problem should be all but alleviated for next season as the minimum car weight is rising from 620 kg to 640 kg.

Unfortunately it looks like the system will still be limited so it will be short bursts of power with a pre-set maximum output. I feel this is somewhat of a halfway house and doesn't encourage the engineers to improve the technology. They should either do it properly or not at all.

No doubt Christian Horner will be complaining that it's all pointless anyway as if everyone has it then it cancels itself out

It looks as if adjustable rear wings are also set to make their d├ębut in 2011.

All of this in an attempt to aid overtaking apparently.

Since when did F1 become an overtaking competition?
Going by some of the races this season (even the dry ones) since when was lack of overtaking a problem? I'm assuming some of the OWG were watching the race on Sunday, it should have told them all they needed to know about raising the number of overtakes, even on tracks not historically conducive to it, like er... Montreal.
Personally, I never liked KERS as it lends too much of an aura of artificiality to the performance of the cars. Passes should be the result of racecraft, not gizmos. :yes:
I've a feeling that the improvement in racing so far this season has caught a lot of people by surprise. The return of KERS was part of the post Bahrain panic after one of the dullest races in many a year.

Since then we've had some fantastic wheel to wheel battles at almost every track. Fears that this was mainly due to the wet/dry races we had at the start of the year were dispelled at dry only tracks such as Montreal.

The real litmus test is going to be at Valencia. If that annual snoozefest can actually produce something close to good racing then we will surely know that we have turned a corner in F1.
Myself I have no issues with Kers being reintroduced in principle, I just dislike the limits on how it can be used with the whole 6 seconds a lap thing.

I am sure this sounds stupid but hear me out. The newest Prius has something called an EV mode which allows it to go at under 30mph for about 1.5 miles on just battery power. How can this be used in F1 I hear you ask. Well in theory, if F1 is to be used to develop road car technology then how about allowing something like this (imagine in Q3 if you fuel on fumes but know the kers can get you back to the pits on your in lap, or while under safety car, you could go very marginal on fuel if you could rely on electric behind a safety car) or if cars using electric power have a higher pit lane speed limit (50 for petrol power, 80 if you are on electric; surely an advantage worth having), maybe some kind of a start stop technology to stop the engine overheating on the grid.

I know those are kinda daft ideas but I just think that if the rules were relaxed, the teams could come up with some very interesting and public road applicable uses for the kit (much better than what I came up with above). i just fail to see how giving 80 horsepower for 6 seconds of acceleration every 3 miles or so will help me drive to Sainsburys without using petrol.

That said, as Cider and Toast says, I don't think Kers has to be relied upon to introduce interesting racing like it did last year if you look at this season minus Bahrain (which would not have been as bad if they had not added in that daft new section).
It seems that Mercedes were responsible for KERS being pegged at the same power output of 400 KJ instead of an increase to 800KJ.

You have to wonder why this is. Perhaps they just aren't able to devise a decent system of their own?

Ahh, I've just got to the end of the article...

"At Renault, we were a strong supporter with Ferrari," Boullier told AUTOSPORT. "We offered to raise the level of energy to 800KJ, to allow more work on KERS for the future, and to have a better show - because you can use twice more the KERS system during a lap.

"It would have been good for performance and good for F1's image, but the biggest concern was that Mercedes-Benz had a different technology and they could not do it [double the power with their system in the timeframe], and they did not want to invest their money on an 800KJ system.

As is usual in F1, one team's needs are put above the sport
My biggest issue with KERS, is that we have to constantly hear about KERS.

It was ridiculous last year the amount of times we heard the word KERS from commentators, drivers, and observers across the spectrum. In fact, I firmly believe that announcers were instructed to repeatedly bring it up, in order to advance the agenda of F1 becoming "Green".

I mean, if a car equipped with KERS made an overtake on a car without KERS, then that was pointed to as the sole reason for the pass. And if I had to sit through another press conference or interview where Seb Vettel referred to the opposition's "Magic Button", I was going to lose it.

I'm glad it will remain optional for next year though, as I believe variables always spice up the racing.
KekeTheKing said:
And if I had to sit through another press conference or interview where Seb Vettel referred to the opposition's "Magic Button", I was going to lose it.
You're not the only one.

Apparently having an advantage by utilising the rules which permit a KERS device is somehow sneaky and something to be derided.

Having an advantage by utilising the rules to produce superior downforce, grip and handling is OK though.
I understand many peoples dislikes about the KERS system, personally I have a slightly different opinion about the whole idea.

I think that many people will admit that in the future we will see fewer and fewer IC engine powered cars, if hydrogen and electric drive are fully realised the efficiency of such systems are just so much higher than what can be gained through the use of an IC engine. Obviously we are nowhere close to that yet, but ultimately that will be where the technology will be heading, even if its in 20/30/40 years.

F1 has always aimed to be at the forefront of technology, and as such need things like KERS (not necessarily how it currently stands, and will stand).

There is still much opposition to the very thought of electrically powered cars, especially from petrol heads and motor sport fans, and the Synergy Drivers are really more of a half way measure that don't really show off the full potential of either technology. Even as an engineer working in this area, I agree with these thoughts

In other words, for a racing fan, neither really is feasible.

I see the KERS system as another half measure, but one more suited for the racing world, a system that all the fans have the potential to get behind, and one that will slowly introduce the concept of electric power into an area where it has mainly be derided in the past.

As for the reintroduction of the systems int 2011, as many people I would have loved to see this as an area that was totally unrestricted as an area of development, unfortunately that is not the case.

I think peoples main problem with KERS is that they can not really see it effecting the racing, which they won't if everyone has the same unit. Maybe in the future we will see development in this area freed up, and then we would have the privilege of watch the emergence of some extremely impressive technology.

P.S. Did not know that the reason the Merc team were against it was because of money? Very interesting. A further reason I think they could be against using the system was that the major contributors of the McLaren-Merc system on the electric side of things was an American company named Zytek, who I think were more of a McLaren partner originally than Mercedes.

Further more, I don't think the McLaren-Mercedes system has been as much developed in 2010 as others, and they are maybe worrying about keeping pace with the other teams if they upped the output to 800 kJ.

Also lol @Ferrari, instrumental in getting it banned when the couldn't get it to work properly, and then instrumental in getting it reinstated when they can. Typical.
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