GMM reports that a Swiss publication has suggested that Ferrari have tested a new KERS system that places the batteries in the nose instead of in the middle of the car which is detrimental to the balance. Some suggest that the balance issues, increased weight and limited gain of KERS will mean that it does more harm than good for F1 and they won’t use it…or so that’s Toyota’s story. My concern? Having very heavy batteries in the nose that come flying back at the driver during a head-on impact.
The Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell reports that, parallel to a more conventional in-house project, engineers at Maranello devised a system whereby the KERS batteries were located in the front nose of the F60 single seater.
The solution would have negated one of the teams’ main concerns about deploying KERS in 2009: that the location of unwanted ballast in the centre of the car disrupts the ideal weight distribution towards the front.
During initial testing of the new Ferrari, reports indicated that one of the problems encountered was in the area of the front wing.
The front nose solution for KERS would also have resulted in the need for high-voltage cables to run through the cockpit.
The saga goes some way to explaining Ferrari’s negative attitude about the entire KERS deployment, given the vast sums of money spent already by the team.
Ferrari’s initial KERS project, developed by Magneti-Marelli, also struck technical trouble, and the more conventional third solution tested recently at Mugello reportedly delivered a questionable performance benefit.
Toyota has already announced that KERS will not be fitted to its TF109 in Melbourne, and with two months to go until the season opener, most other teams are undecided.
Toyota’s chassis boss Pascal Vasselon told ITV: “At the moment our estimation is that KERS will be detrimental on almost all circuits, because of the weight and the difficulty to manage braking.”