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GP Week : Issue 28
> F1NEWS> n early stages FORMULA 1 technical heads have admitted that their Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) development for 2009 is still in its relative infancy, just six months away from its permitted use in the sport. KERS has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in 2008, as issues with the testing of the energy recovery devices have led to Red Bull evacuating their factory and a BMW mechanic suffering an electric shock. “I think everyone’s at a very early stage in their programme,”said Sam Michael, Williams F1 Team Technical Director. “I think next year, especially in the first six months, there’s going to be a massive disparity in aerodynamics because I would be surprised if everyone got it right straight away. “You will probably have a couple of teams that get it really right and they are the ones that are going to be winning but then you’re going to have the average and then probably a couple of teams that get it really wrong, just because they haven’t had time or they haven’t balanced this year’s resources.” Red Bull’s Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey agreed with Michael, but admitted that the cost of running the systems was now one of the largest concerns. “With the current KERS regulations everybody’s come down on either using a battery storage system or a flywheel. I don’t think it’s any secret that we are on battery. Of those using flywheels, as far as I know, everyone’s mechanically-driven rather than using an electrical motor as the transfer mechanism. “As a financial thing, they are extremely expensive, there’s no doubt about it. For the small teams KERS is a big overhead. Flywheel is potentially cheaper because you haven’t got the cost of the battery but you’ve got all the mechanical development. The batteries are very expensive.” Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds said the expense and safety concerns of the technology meant that his team would be unlikely to even test KERS until the new year. “It’s our intention not to run it in a car until January. It’s very, very expensive to build interim cars to look at these sorts of projects and we prefer not to do that, particularly with the sophistication of dynamometers these days. “o all our practice work is being done on dynamometers and then we will build it into our car for next year and see how it performs on the track when hopefully we have de- bugged it from both mechanical reliability and very specifically from a safety point of view before we take it to the circuit.” FOTA takes shape after Monza meeting THE Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) met in Monza on Thursday to execute its articles of association. The teams agreed on five primary objectives, which will guide the association in its initial stages. They are: n To promote the development of Formula 1 and enhance its worldwide image and reputation. n To represent, defend and promote the interests of its members. Images used in GPWEEK are shot by the photo-artists at Sutton Images. Posters available of any shot – CLICK HERE for more information n To allow its members to debate, within the corporate bodies of FOTA, any issue regarding the Formula 1 industry and / or Formula 1 racing. n To co-operate with the FIA, in particular by submitting proposals for amendments to current technical and sporting regulations or for new regulations. n To co-operate with the Commercial Right Holders. FOTA has also established three commissions: A Sporting Working Group (to be headed by McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh); a Technical Working Group (to be headed by Honda’s Ross Brawn); and a Commercial Working Group (to be headed by Renault’s Flavio Briatore.) Overseeing the general direction of FOTA will be its Chairman, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, and Vice-Chairman, Toyota’s John Howett. Interested in Aussie V8 Supercars? CLICK HERE to access Australasian Motorsport eNews ...