Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ferrari KERS complaints ominous

Today Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo hit out at the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in Formula One in 2009 claiming they are too expensive and questioning the relevance and importance to road car technology.

In Autosprint, di Montezemolo said, "the future looks very complicated with these new regulations. We feel introducing KERS already this year was a mistake, even though we're in favour of F1 being a technological springboard. But the energy recovery system in the races will in any case be very different from the road system. It's true, however, that the costs are prohibitive, and with FOTA we've studied important proposals in order to meet Max Mosley's fair requests regarding spending cuts."

Although there is something to say about the costs of new technologies, this concern is reduced because of the introduction of radical cost cutting proposals due to come on line in 2009. So the real question is: how far is Ferrari in making the KERS system work effectively?

Ferrari have already admitted on several occasions they are behind in developing KERS. Technical director, Aldo Costa is clear that the biggest challenge to the team is the development of the KERS (and reliability) but that they must also consider the development of the 2009 aerodynamics package.

What is also a consideration is the reported impact of the new slick tire, weight distribution and the 3 tenths of second per lap that KERS is theoretically worth. If Ferrari can not make the new slick work with the 2009 package with or without a KERS system, their problems could be compounded three fold: they can be slower because teams have better KERS; they can be slower because they are having difficulty with the tires; or both. The fact that di Montezemolo is vocalizing more complaints about KERS on top of Ferrari's already admitted problems with the system should be a real concern for Ferrari fans and their 2009 championship aspirations.

I will be curious to observe testing times and their KERS reliability when we get into 2009 pre-season testing.

No comments: