In recent weeks there have been several safety related incidents during the development and testing of the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) that will be rolled out in Formula 1 in 2009. Teams are working along two different development paths with some pursuing a mechanical flywheel based system while others work on an battery based electric hybrid
setup. Both configurations have potential safety issues, but Mike Gascoyne, Technical Director of the Force India
team believes all of those concerns will be resolved in time. To Gascoyne, these are just engineering challenges and the engineers will find a way to resolve them. He doesn't see the problem of batteries or the potential for disintegrating flywheels as much different from safe handling of liquid fuels at 200 mph. Through the remainder of this year teams will be stressing batteries and flywheels to their limits to the find the weaknesses and fix them. Nonetheless, its possible that some teams may opt not to run the new systems right from the start of the 2009 if they don't feel that there is enough performance improvement to counter the extra weight.