If you have been following the KERS initiative in F1, then you most likely have read Autosports recent interview with Captain KERS himself, the FIA’s Max Mosley.
And interesting article in that Max shares his thoughts on some of the finer details of the KERS systems being developed and the issues that have come from the new technology. In short, Autosport did a spot on job of asking insightful questions to draw out some interesting tidbits of information that, until now, have remained obscured tot he fans.
A list of my “what the heck is he thinking” issues:
Regulations that he admittedly says were a cock up like rear tire width: Uh…when did you catch that? Last week or last year? Well after production had started no doubt. At least he admits his own regulations have been a source of error and dismay for the teams.
No one cares about gearboxes: May be half true but refinement also translates to new, exotic uses of materials in road cars. Fine tuning the shift points and speed of a gearbox reduces time when multiplied over 70 laps and has translated to road cars very well thank you. Find a sport car without paddle shift and twin-clutch transmissions. Also, Torotrak has been developing a continuous variable transmission to handle the mechanical KERS or Flywheek design that stores energy briefly and then releases it. Hmmm…I imagine that gearbox took some dosh to make? I also assume a heck of a lot of people care about that gearbox?
Mario got it wrong: I think Mario was following your endorsement for a KERS system and thanks for dragging him through the mud. He forgot more about engineering than you’ll know so leave the criticism to the BMW board members should it not work. Your pressure for KERS by 2009 has cost an absolute fortune and the teams are trying to best they can to deliver as well as gain an edge. The mechanical system may have not dovetailed with BMW’s current battery technology for their hybrid or electric car program so it only stands to reason they would utilize their internal resources to limit expense on R&D for your KERS issue.
Endless refinement: Again, in a sport measured to the thousandth of a second, refinement makes a difference and the last time I checked an F1 car is a miracle of refined engineering which the likes of Duckworth, Chapman and Cooper would marvel at. Ever see a Matra or Lotus 72 take Eau Rouge flat? I appreciate what he is saying but I think the new mantra of “current F1 engineers are the bad guys” is wearing thin. These guys are nothing short of brilliant and I grow weary of marginalizing them as some Play Station children.
Very high voltage next to very flammable liquid: I have some real concerns here and like Max; I leave it to the experts but should an F1 driver, team member or test driver get seriously injured or die due to KERS; I suggest that Max has left safety at home. Rushing this technology to F1 could be a mistake until completely proven.
Just my thoughts…what are yours?