Guest Author - Christine Blachford
When the FIA announced that KERS was to be introduced for the 2009 season, the teams began to work very hard on developing solutions for their own cars. It wasn't an easy task, as we saw a BMW mechanic receive an electric shock, and a small fire in the Red Bull factory - both attributed to the KERS development.
As the 2009 cars are now launching, with or without KERS, it seems as though doubts are starting to creep in over whether the new technology will work or not. Both Ferrari and Williams have admitted they haven't decided whether to use KERS at the first race in Australia. Williams say that although running with their device will save them two or three tenths on a lap, to bring it in straight away will be difficult. There are so many other setup changes going on, and Australia is such a manic race anyway, that they think the technology will be swamped.
BMW have also said they may not race with KERS from the start of the season. The team are believed to be the front runners when it comes to developing the device, and they admit they aren't ready, which doesn't bode well for the other teams.
Renault, meanwhile, have taken a much harder stance on it. Team boss Flavio Briatore believes the introduction of KERS is costing the team too much money for not enough reward, but he admits they are doing it for the good of the sport. Technical director, and engine specialist, Bob Bell says the technology is still too dangerous.
Bell reveals that he believes there will be injuries in the 2009 season, either from mechanics or marshals, and that seeing high voltage stickers on an F1 car is a worrying thing. Just like the other teams, Renault haven't decided on their introduction of KERS for the start of the season.
Having talked about KERS for the majority of the off-season, it will be disappointing not to see it brought in straight away. However, if it is a dangerous technology, or isn't yet ready for racing, it would be much better for the teams to keep developing it through the season to make it safe.
I'd love to hear what you think about this, whether the teams should bring in the technology regardless, or if they should keep on working behind the scenes and race to be the first to get it working. Visit the forums, and let us know!