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GP Week : Issue 29
> F1NEWS> pe of things to come ning bow at Jerez … and it wasn’t all pretty against similar transferral of unused energy, the teams using KERS in Jerez kitted their mechanics out with thick rubber gloves and secured large earthing strips to the pit-lane within the pit boxes. Honda also went to the trouble of fitting red or green markers to the roll hoops of their RA108 to inform the team of whether the car was charged or safe. McLaren began its KERS testing with Gary Paffett on the Wednesday, initially focussing on vibration and housing checks before Pedro de la Rosa ran the system in for more robust track testing on the final days of the test. Williams began its KERS testing on the rookie day on Tuesday with Dani Clos running an FW30 fitted with the new fly-wheel-reliant KERS unit, before Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg took over testing duties in the FW30B, which ran a complete 2009 rear end. And it wasn’t a pretty sight (above). The new regulations for 2009 stipulate that the rear wing must be a maximum of 800mm wide and therefore much thinner than 2008-spec wings. The appendage is also allowed to be higher and deeper, while the diffuser is set lower and moved further back. The team ran its ‘09 development rear end with a 2008 front end, in order to install the KERS unit in situ with 2009 rear-end packaging. Honda also used the rookie day to begin its KERS testing, sending Mike Conway out at the wheel of the RA108 before handing over to Alex Wurz to complete the evaluation of the KERS unit on the remaining days of the test. The Austrian also conducted tyre evaluation tests for Bridgestone, as the tyre manufacturer weighs up its options on how to distinguish between prime and option tyres in 2009. A purple sidewall on the Honda’s rubber was by far the strongest notion seen thus far. Honda Team Principal Ross Brawn was delighted with the first run of the team’s KERS unit: “The test was a critical stage in our development of KERS. Although installed in a ‘mule’ car, the KERS system was fully functioning and very close to 2009 specification. Alex was able to give invaluable input into the track behaviour of our KERS system and highlight several areas we need to focus on. A very valuable test and I am extremely pleased with the performance and the progress we have made with the system.”