Mercedes would like to see KERS back — in 2013

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A KERS energy system should be part of Formula 1, but not in a slap-dash kind of way that doesn’t improve the racing and doesn’t effectively work within the sport’s engineering, Mercedes’ team leaders are saying.

Quoted over at itv.com, both Ross Brawn and Norbert Haug acknowledge the energy recovery and reuse system has a place in F1, but they aren’t keen on just shoe-horning it back into the current F1 chassis.

Brawn, in particular, seems less than sold on the version of KERS we all saw, sort of, in 2009:

“We acknowledge that KERS will have a part to play in the future technologies.

“We think that the gains that were available last year in KERS were not probably significant enough and that we should look at KERS for the future with that in mind.

“We would prefer to look at something which is planned and integrated with the new powertrain, which comes in 2013.

“That doesn’t mean to say that KERS can only come in 2013; maybe it can be anticipated.

“But if we do a system now and then we do another system in 2013, it’s a little bit of a shame because with the systems we have now – Mercedes has just won an award for their system for innovation and technology – the advantages they offer is probably not enough, and we need to look at systems that are substantial enough to help the sporting side of the racing.”

There is also the issue of cost (isn’t there always), as Haug points out:

“It is a question of what do you want to afford, what can you afford. It’s about cost-saving in Formula 1 these days and I think we all should not allow Formula 1 to be a money-spending race for new technologies.

“Even we being very competent in that [KERS] respect, we would say that there have to be limits.

“But as Ross pointed out, it would make sense to bring everything together probably for the future – new powertrain, probably a more powerful KERS and install limits in order not to spend too much money.

“So this is quite a task to achieve that, but I think these are the main points that need to be accepted and respected.”

McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh seems to be falling in line with the Merc guys:

“I wouldn’t say it’s divisive [the KERS question]; it’s an issue where a lot of the teams can not afford KERS next year – and probably the majority can’t.

“That’s why we have got to have an understanding, we have got to find something that is affordable and worthwhile for the sport.”

It all isn’t without some disagreement, of course. It sounds like Ferrari and Renault have proposed a return for KERS in 2011, and Williams’ Sam Michael says his outfit would like to see KERS back with the 2009 regulations. Any boosts or changes, though, need to wait:

“So all the time and investment that everyone has made in their systems…it means you can’t just bolt on what you’ve got. It means you’ve got to go back to R&D again and it’s quite expensive at this stage.

“Our opinion at the moment, this is Williams’s opinion, is that we should leave the regs the same until 2013 when the new engine [formula is introduced] and then increase the power, increase the energy, do whatever we need to do.”

This issue isn’t as immediately pressing as the suspension questions now floating around F1, but it sure has the sounds of something that could prove a little touchy at those wonderful FOTA meetings.

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