After a somewhat limited debut in Australia, the KERS program for many teams has yet to be deployed after three races in to the season. Apparently even the teams that started teh season with their KERS units have since removed them. In China, Ferrari actually took their KERS off and while Felipe Massa was lamenting the lack or additional horse power, it seemed the benefit was less convincing to the Ferrari engineers. Renault chose not to run their system as well as Robert Kubica of BMW who tested on Friday with the KERS but chose not to run the race with the system attached. This left Nick Heidfeld, Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen the only cars running KERS.
Many pundits have suggested that a limited boost to help pass or more the the point prevent from being passed is fine but unless the system actually improves overall lap times, they are reticent about the system. Speed TV’s Steve Matchett made no bones about his displeasure with KERS as it seems nonsensical to the program and if they wanted to really be “green” just limit the amount of fuel the engine can use. Or so that is my paraphrase of Steve’s position. So what are we going to do with Max’s beloved KERS? The teams, prior to this season starting gathered to discuss some options on making the sport more affordable. They initiated their own exhaustive survey to help improve the sport. Part of those recommendations was a standardized KERS unit that all teams could choose to use for 2010. They were strongly in favor of waiting another year for the deployment of KERS except for BMW who, it is rumored, spent millions on their program. Max Mosley, FIA President and champion of all things “Green” and KERS, is not happy with the standardization idea and must certainly be upset that the teams seem to be leaving the KERS project as a stillborn brainchild of the enigmatic Regulatory boss of F1.
One team who has used its KERS to decent effect has been McLaren and even they are starting to backpedal on the idea.
“Nothing is set in stone,” the Briton is quoted as saying by motorsport-magazin.com. “We will not have it in the car if we do not get an advantage from it,” Whitmarsh added.
So would this leave Nick Heidfeld the only KERS driver on the grid? KERS has never been a favorite idea around F1B and perhaps the teams have just realized another of Max Mosley’s grand ideas of perception whilst ignoring the obvious…the systems have cost millions and yet he is the one who is adamant that F1 must cut costs.