• Jul 30, 2008
Follow the jump to watch the video

Anybody who wants to know why Formula 1 teams are reconsidering using the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, or KERS need only watch the video embedded after the jump. So far, there have been two incidents of KERS failures, the first requiring the U.K. Red Bull team to make a call to the local Fire Department and the second, as seen in the video, sending a BMW mechanic to the ground. The KERS system recovers energy that would be lost to braking so that it can be reused on the next straightaway. We aren't in the business of finding enjoyment from the suffering of others, but since the mechanic was basically unharmed, let this be a reminder that high voltage hurts. Yowzah! Thanks for the tip, Lachlan!

[Source: YouTube]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 30 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Yikes that looks painful, glad he's ok.
      • 6 Years Ago
      wouldnt it be a lot safer and eco-friendly to store the kinetic energy in a flywheel, or fly-cylinder, mounting it with the axis perpendicular to the ground to avoid gyro torque? Just encase it in a carbon fiber and kevlar capsule so that in case of accident no piece of it goes bulleting out and it should be ok.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Unless the flywheel is free to move on a gimbal, there's always going to be a direction the car needs to go that the flywheel won't let it. The easiest way to do a flywheel like that is electric. This whole idea however, died in the 80s. No need to resurrect it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        • 6 Years Ago
        Probably a weight thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't see the big deal, the solution is simple.... DON'T BE THE FIRST GUY TO TOUCH THE CAR!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      You know I heard the whole argument about how auto-racing in general has no business trying to be eco-friendly. I don't get what the big deal is in finding a safer way to race, because all eco-racing is is being safe with the environment.

      Think of it this way, what if the gas-powered ICE was never invented or at least not used because it was thought to be too dangerous and pollutive. Let say we been using electric or hydrogen powered engines for the last 100 years. What if F1 decided to lax in their rules to allow gas-powered ICE. Would everyone be bitching about it?

      My point here is stop thinking gas-powered ICE is normal. Its not and this is a better drivetrain out there. we need stop letting traditional ICE be the standard.

      F1 is all about pushing the threshold of auto-technology with the aim of high performance. KERS can work, if we stop resisting it and start problem solving it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love technology in places where it should not be. This type of race car enhancement should be illegal in motorsports. What happened to just having good drivers in simple and safe fast cars?
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Doug

        Rearview mirrors were invented because a racer wanted to get rid of the person who looked behind the driver for cars. F1 pretty much developed traction control. Variable vane turbos were adapted for cars by WRC.

        Also the original "tuners" were mobsters who needed souped up cars to escape the police.

        If you're angry about the Nascar comment, then yes, it too was valid at one point in time, technologically speaking. That time has come and gone.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry sw, but none of the following "rearview mirrors, carbon fiber, powerful engines, traction control in a blizzard on a sheet of ice, great suspension, variable valve timing, an amazing diesel vehicle (r10), variable vane turbos" were designed or developed on the racecourse. They were all design initially for normal road cars (or for airplanes and space ships in the case of CF) and were then adapted to racing.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The sole purpose for motorsports of this caliber is to advance the industry. Nascar... not so much, but races like LaMans, GT Series, WRC, F1 are great places to test and hone new ideas that eventually find their way in to yours and my car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wouldn't capacitors be better then batteries for this application since no storing of power is necessary. Or is the fact that a capacitor completely dumps it's charge not a good thing?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Please don't mistake this for skepticism, but I'm still trying to figure out where the electrical shock came from. The nearest I can guess is his foot next to the wheel. Either that or the KERS system is horribly insulted and he got the shock through the body of the vehicle itself.

      Regardless, they would be storing one hell of a charge in those batteries, and that does mandate some serious safety measures. Maybe they need to add some sort of intentional bleed system so that with the flip of a safety switch and press of a button, the driver can completely dump the current from the batteries.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It looked to me like he got shocked when he put his hand on the steering wheel while touching the body.

        This could be in combination with his feet touching the ground.

        So he could have completed a circuit either by a) Bridging the body to the steering wheel, or b) bridging the steering wheel to ground.

        Personally, B seems more likely, since it's not something that one would do very often, hence it's less likely that it would be detected.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's pretty simple if you are aware of the properties of CF. Do any of the AutoBlog scholars want to chime in and teach the crowd a thing or two? I don't care to. On that note, where the hell is LS2LS7?
        • 6 Years Ago
        It really doesn't look like it's a direct fault of the KERS system, just a terrible implementation of one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm a bit confused about that myself? I'm quite sure the painted carbon body work is non conducting.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It was probably only a static charge so he wouldn't have to touch metal to get zapped, composite materials spinning at high rpm, they are going to have a hard time finding ways to dissipate the static electricity that generates.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This whole idea is KERS'd.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 6 Years Ago
        This whole Formula 1 Hybrid deal is such a joke. If they really want to be innovative they should use alternative fuels or solar power. Ok solar power is a joke but I just do not see the point in trying to make Formula 1 appear eco-friendly
        • 6 Years Ago
        Batteries are no worse than tires, and they don't even make it a whole race!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Apparently the batteries only last one race. Excuse me but i thought mining, shipping and refining batteries is very bad for the environment?

        Those batteries should at least last one season
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ HotRodzNKustoms,

        I beg to differ on solar power as it pertains to race cars. The technology is already here, but nobody's even bothering to think about it.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @HotRod... -- Are you sure about the wanting to be eco-friendly? I just assumed that it was to extend the time between refueling stops, since if just one driver can reduce those they'll have won the race.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Youtube link for those like me that can't see the video at work:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzaQ-t1ojPU

      I assume it's the same thing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not to be a physics nerd or anything (which I am) but its not high voltage that hurts, its large DIFFERENCES in voltage that are dangerous, because this causes migration of charge (current) and when those little charges are moving THAT'S what hurts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't taze me bro!
      • 6 Years Ago
      So they are trying to run this KERS system to make them quicker, while everything FIA is doing is trying to make them slower? Is it really neccesary to make F1 more "affordable" for the little guy? I say let it be an open field, as long as they have four tires and a driver they should be allowed to be nuclear powered if they want to.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, it's very necessary
        • 6 Years Ago
        You couldn't possibly imagine what it would be like with rules as simple as that. I think there's an article called "Formula Zero" somewhere. Anyway, it'll never happen.
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