Ferrari has confirmed it will field KERS-equipped cars in every race of the 2011 season, after a meeting of the F1 teams in Canada to discuss technical matters for next season.
It has been revealed that adjustable rear wings will be likely to make their debut in order to boost overtaking, and KERS looks set to join the party next year when the gentlemen’s agreement banning the use of KERS this season lapses.
Teams such as Williams and Ferrari have been extremely keen to see a return of the KERS systems – which recover the energy dissipated under braking and recycle it to provide a boost of additional power for up to 8 seconds per lap – and indeed, have them become more powerful.
To cater for their reintroduction, it is believed that the minimum car-driver weight limit will be increased by a further 20kg to a 640kg minimum limit for 2011.
“The teams have agreed on that,” Stefano Domenicali, the Team Principal of Ferrari confirmed. “We would have preferred to see a solution with much more energy being available [when KERS was deployed], but unfortunately an agreement could not be found.”
It is understood that the lack of enthusiasm about increasing the power output of KERS would be due to some manufacturers expressing concerns about adapting their existing technology to support it.
Another issue is again that, while the moratorium banning its use is set to lapse at the end of the season, its use will not be compulsory again in 2011. Lotus, for example, has already declared it will not run a KERS-equipped car next season, and its initial 2011-spec designs do not cater for it.
Similarly, Mercedes GP has admitted it is still considering whether or not it will equip its 2011 cars with KERS, but it has conceded that it has started a programme with a view to implementing it.
“We will make a decision (about KERS for 2011) within four to six weeks,” confirmed Ross Brawn, the Team Principal of Mercedes GP.
Used in 2009, KERS was abandoned by the majority of the F1 teams on account of its increased weight and difficulty packaging the equipment effectively in their chassis’. Its profile was not helped when a BMW Sauber mechanic was electrocuted by the unit in pre-season testing (pictured), and its use was felt by many to actually ‘dumb down’ the racing in 2009 – many pundits and fans actually believed it lessened the ability of drivers to overtake one another, as the KERS could be deployed as a means of defence, as well as attack.
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[Original images via AUTOSPORT]