We've been following the ongoing saga that is the implementation of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems in Formula 1 racing since the technology was first announced nearly two years ago, and the payoff will finally take place when KERS-equipped F1 racers make their first appearance in actual racing conditions this weekend when the season kicks off in Australia. Not all the cars will be equipped with functional KERS drivetains. At least for the start of the season, teams can choose whether or not they want to run with the hybrid systems engaged or not.
According to BMW, only one of its two drivers will be using an active KERS hybrid powertrain. Nick Heidfeld's F1.09 will use an active KERS implementation, but teammate Robert Kubica's will not. The reason cited for the decision centers around the weight of the drivers. Apparently, Kubica weighs a good deal more than Heidfeld, and using KERS would have given the heavier driver a substantial weight penalty.