Advantage goes to McLaren and Mercedes teams in 2011

McLaren’s technical director Paddy Lowe says the reintroduction of KERS in Formula 1 this season will prove an advantage for the Mercedes and the McLaren teams.

After being shelved at the end of 2009 for cost reasons, the energy storage devices are set to return in 2011, and this time around most teams are expected to use them from the start of the season.

The KERS unit developed in a joint effort between McLaren and engine supplier Mercedes in 2009 was widely acknowledged as the best in F1, whereas Ferrari and title winner Brawn struggled with its system for the entire season.

At McLaren’s launch in Berlin on Friday, Lowe said, despite the considerable packaging difficulties, its advantages outweighed its drawbacks.

“We know that there’s some real performance there, some real lap time," he said.

“Also, we found in 2009, as we expected, that using the hybrid system was very powerful for the race start.

“The teams who didn’t have KERS in 2009 would virtually admit that they lost a place relative to us before the race even started.

“If you were going to compete this year without a KERS hybrid system, we believe you would effectively just be making up the numbers and not be able to produce a competitive car.

“So it was an easy decision for us; and easy also because we have a great partnership with Mercedes-Benz and we had a good platform to build on there."

Lowe said Mercedes had succeeded in developing a system that suited both its own works team and McLaren.

“We have a common system developed by Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines but also used by Mercedes GP, so we needed to find a package that would accommodate the needs of both teams, and we’re really happy with what we’ve got," he said.

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