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DATE News (chronologically)
06/26/09
f1
Whitmarsh regrets 'waste' on KERS
Martin Whitmarsh is one of many team bosses who feels that the untimely introduction of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) to Formula One this season has proven to be nothing more than a waste of money. With many in agreement, teams have already agreed not to use the innovative system next year.

"The concept of KERS was probably the right thing to do for F1, but two years ago at Silverstone it seemed it was getting out of control in terms of the technical openness of it and every team bar Williams agreed to abandon it," said the McLaren team principal, who took over the role from Ron Dennis for 2009.

"At the end of last year it was every team bar BMW and we've always taken a flexible view on it. On those two occasions, we were prepared to get rid of it." Ironically, BMW has since fully abandoned its KERS project in favor for aerodynamic enhancements on its F1.09. "The regulations are incredibly wide and they are challenging in that, to develop a KERS system within the weight and packaging constraints of F1 with the power and energy limitations and still have performance, is difficult," Whitmarsh continued.

"If you look back on it now with hindsight, this industry has undoubtedly wasted a lot of money in that area, particularly if we are not going to be running with KERS next year. McLaren and Mercedes' position is that we believe we have come this far and should continue with KERS but, with the spirit of cooperation that exists within F1 now with FOTA, we accept not using vetoes to block these things."

He added that the desire of many teams to block usage of the system is 'disappointing' when considering the time and energy placed into developing the device at McLaren. "Like all of these things you get the perfect storm of issues," Whitmarsh went on. "Putting it as kindly as possible, we were not as adventurous in our diffuser interpretation, and that gave us limitations in how you respond to it. We were behind on the development of the overall aero concept and we have put a lot of effort into KERS because F1 was committing to it. Looking back, we could have made some different decisions but that is how hindsight works."

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