KERS Use in Formula One 2011
In 2011 the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems has been re-introduced – back from a somewhat problematic introduction to the world of Formula One in 2009.
In 2010 all the teams agreed to suspend the use of KERS mainly due to problems some teams had of getting the system to work for them.
How does KERS work: basically the kinetic energy being created by the cars turns to heat while braking, this heat energy is then converted to electrical energy and stored and made available to the driver for use when he wants it. The driver activates the extra power using a boost button that is on his steering wheel – it is used in fixed quantities over a lap. The extra power boost is limited to 85bhp and lasts for about 7 (6.67) seconds.
One of the main reasons that the teams are now pushing for the use of KERS is due to the FIA lifting the maximum weight for an F1 car by 20kg. This is the approximate weight of the KERS unit. This 20kg extra weight in 2009 meant some other weight had to be shed and back then the increase in power for that period of time just about matched the performance lost due to the extra weight.
It is important to note that Brawn GP, the winners of the 2009 Formula One Championship, did not run KERS at all during the season.
How has the system stood up in the 2011 season so far: well the jury is still out on this one. Many people are asking for it to be dropped, many others asking for the regulations to be changed regarding the use of the system. The people I refer to here are F1 fans.
In my opinion the system has actually detracted from overtaking in the first few races. What’s developed is drivers using the system as they see another car is getting to the point of making a passing move, thereby preventing the overtake. In racing what we the fans always want to see is overtaking.Continued on the next page