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F1-KERS 2011: Who drives with hybrid technology?

Formula 1 before the hybrid return in 2011
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N after that it was a long time after a longer hybrid - The break in Formula 1 looked like, but the KERS supporters group prevailed in the end. Thanks to the support of FIA President Jean Todt, the electric motors and the battery packs will be installed again in the coming season.

Ferrari and Renault insisted on KERS return

Die The biggest supporters of the KERS league ended up being Ferrari and Renault. Both insisted on using the hybrid drive. Since the technology was never officially banned in the regulations, the (small) league of objectors had no chance in the end to enforce a voluntary waiver in the team association (FOTA).

After all, there was a small success for them Rejecting group: The technology remains with the requirements of 2009. The maximum energy output per lap is 400 kilojoules. The 80 hp can be accessed for a total of 6.7 seconds in each lap. Ferrari even suggested doubling the amount of energy. Then the pilots would have 80 hp for 13.3 seconds. The application failed due to disagreement. Mercedes pleaded for 600 kilojoules, McLaren insisted on the 2009 rule.

KERS clearly an advantage

However, one factor has been changed, which at first glance has nothing to do with the KERS has to do. The minimum weight of the cars has been increased from 620 to 640 kilograms. This eliminates the disadvantage of the hybrid package weighing around 20 kilograms. Problems with the balance of the car, as in 2009, shouldn't be a problem in the coming season. There should also be enough leeway for ballast weights for the heavier pilots in the field.

The advantages of the system, however, remained unchanged. The 80 additional horsepower is a weapon, especially at the start. The system also has decisive advantages in qualifying. The pilots can press the KERS button in the warm-up lap before the home straight and start at a higher speed. In the fast lap they can of course boost a second time.

Force India and Williams are planning with KERS

The advantages and disadvantages of the KERS premiere in 2009 were still there relatively balanced, the hybrid drive only clearly has the upper hand. 'You have no choice but to drive with KERS,' says Force India managing director Otmar Szafnauer. Williams has also seen this and is already feverishly planning the firstFormula 1 hybrid car. However, it does not use the flywheel drive that Williams launched together with Porsche in the 24h race.

'We have always worked on a conventional battery solution in parallel,' explains Technical Director Sam Michael. In contrast to most of its competitors, Williams has put a lot of its own know-how into the technology. 'The cells are delivered to us individually and then put together to form the battery packs.'

Red Bull wants to improve Renault-KERS

Red Bull also wants to develop its own. Because the Renault-KERS is too heavy, team boss Christian Horner has already announced that the system will be slimmed down in the factory. Designer and lightweight construction fanatic Adrian Newey should crease his forehead at the thought of heavy battery packs in his car.

However, like all other teams, Red Bull has to limit itself in development. The world association has praised five million euros as the upper cost limit for the technology. If you want to buy the system as a customer, you have to pay one million euros.

Newbies are not planning with KERS yet

Even this will still be too expensive for many teams. The three new teams are still keeping a low profile on the hybrid issue. 'We don’t waste any thought on that,' said Timo Glock recently. Although the Cosworth engine is currently being prepared for KERS use, Williams will probably remain the only Cosworth team with hybrid technology.

There is also a question mark at Sauber and Toro Rosso. Both teams are financially not a bed of roses and will definitely not participate in the development. If the two Ferrari engine customers decide to use the KERS, the system will be supplied by the Italian technology specialist Magneti Marelli.


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