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DATE News (chronologically)
01/28/09
f1
Whiting insists: KERS will be safe  FIA race director Charlie Whiting has assured the F1 teams that all measures to ensure the safe use of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) have been considered by the FIA.

KERS will be used in Formula One for the first time this season, however, it has already caused numerous problems for the teams.

While some are just behind in their development of the device, others have experienced injuries to their team members with a BMW mechanic being admitted to hospital after receiving a shock from a car fitted with KERS.

Red Bull have also had their own problems with their factory having to be evacuated after smoke started pouring from a battery. As a result Red Bull have opted not to design their own device, instead announcing that they would be using Renault's.

But despite the problems Whiting is confident that the FIA have looked at every means to make KERS safe for the teams and drivers during grand prix weekends.

"Through the Technical Working Group, we set up a KERS Safety Working Group chaired by BMW," he said.

"They've met quite a few times and they've come up with a long list of suggestions, parts of which have already become regulations, and some of which will form the basis of a comprehensive document we'll circulate to all circuits and tracks hosting a grand prix.

"The teams are taking this very responsibly for their own safety, of course. They're also looking at how the marshals will respond to broken-down cars.

"There will be things like the KERS status warning light that will be on all cars. Marshals are going to be educated by the documentation we'll provide.

"Also, the systems themselves should be safe. If there's a risk, it should be clear to a marshal who walks up to the car. He should approach the vehicle, look at the KERS status light and, if it is in the wrong state, he shouldn't touch the car.

"Also, people working on the track are being briefed about how to pick up parts, which will be clearly identified by color coding.

"If they potentially contain high voltage, they have to know how to move them. They will also wear gloves, which are good for a thousand volts.

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