The McLaren Formula One team has joined Ferrari, Renault and Williams in backing the return of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) to the series in 2011. A handful of teams experimented with these hybrid drive systems in 2009 but everyone abandoned the systems for 2010. McLaren was actually the only team to win a race with a KERS-equipped car in 2009.
The hybrid drive development unit of the Williams Formula One team has decided to stop working on its Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for the team. Instead, the Williams Hybrid Power (WHP) division will target the flywheel electric KERS at road going applications. In spite of ending the system's motorsports development, WHP has actually doubled the size of its staff as it has adjusted.
Italian magazine Quattroroute is reporting that Ferrari will show its first road-going hybrid next March at the Geneva Motor Show. The concept is reportedly based on the the 599 GTB and is expected to use a derivative of the kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) that was used on the Ferrari formula one cars during at least part of the 2009 season.
It turns out that when the time came for the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team to develop a hybrid drive KERS for this year's car, it did not do the job in-house. Instead, it went to a specialist with perhaps more experience than anyone in developing such systems, Zytek. The UK engineering firm developed the hybrid powertrain for the first modern race car of the type, the Panoz Q9, a decade ago.
2009 has not been a good season for the McLaren team and defending world driving champion Lewis Hamilton. Nonetheless, the team – along with Ferrari – are the only ones still persevering with the new kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS). This weekend in Hungary, the efforts finally paid off with the first-ever victory for a car equipped with the hybrid electric drive system.
The Williams Formula One team developed one of the most unusual approaches to a hybrid KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) but it looks increasingly unlikely that the system will ever be used in competition. The current F1 teams have previously voted unanimously not to use KERS in 2010, even though the rules allow it.
After using its KERS hybrid system on and off through the first half of the 2009 Formula One season, the BMW-Sauber team has decided enough is enough. The team will shelve the system through the remainder of the year while it focuses on aerodynamic development. In spite of the utter lack of success using the kinetic energy recovery systems this year, team boss Mario Theissen said the development process has actually be useful for the company's production hybrids. Lessons learned in developing th
The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) voted this past weekend to push for a ban on kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) in 2010. While it wasn't a unanimous vote, a majority of the eight teams remaining in the group voted in favor of the ban. The Williams and Force India teams were recently suspended from the group over their decisions to side with the FIA in the argument over budget caps for 2010.
The ongoing debate among Formula one teams over whether to run kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) continues as those teams head to the streets of Monaco this weekend. While as many as eight cars have used the new hybrid systems at races earlier this year, only four are expected to use it this week. Only the cars of Ferrari and McLaren have committed to running KERS in Monaco.
The Formula One circus has landed in Bahrain this weekend and the controversies surrounding kinetic energy recovery systems are continuing. Four of ten teams are apparently using KERS this week including BMW, Ferrari, McLaren and Renault. Renault team boss Flavio Briatore remains unconvinced of the effectiveness of the systems, particularly given the development cost. Briatore actually wants the FIA, which governs the sport, to ban the systems beginning next year.
Adding an electric motor and battery to a vehicle is just one of many ways to create a hybrid. We've seen hydraulic hybrids being tested in a variety of commercial vehicle applications. Torotrak has an altogether different mechanical system based on flywheels. The Torotrak system first came to our attention a couple of years ago when the FIA proposed allowing kinetic energy recovery systems on Formula One cars. Subsequently, at least two F1 teams licensed the Torotrak system for use, but none ar
Apparently, hybrid drive systems aren't catching on in Formula 1 this year. The new 2009 rules allowed, but did not require the addition of hybrid systems called KERS or kinetic energy recovery systems. Over the course of the 2008 season, teams spent time developing and testing KERS with varying degrees of success. The idea was to provide teams a way of boosting performance to compensate for losses that came from limiting engine speeds and require the engines to last longer. At the opening race
The soon to be independent McLaren Automotive plans to launch what it calls an "eco-friendly" supercar in two years. McLaren Group CEO Ron Dennis announced on Thursday that the company was being restructured and the road car division would be spun off later this year as an separate company as it winds down production of the Mercedes SLR. Dennis is stepping aside from the Formula One race team to focus on bringing a new range of sports cars to market, including the car currently code named P11.
Ah, fire. One of humanity's oldest ways to generate energy. Technically, you could generate energy by burning brake pads, as seen in the picture above (thanks, Flickr!), but automotive engineers have managed to come up with a way to use brakes to generate energy without going up in flames. The technology is called regenerative braking and it's the subject of this week's Greenlings.
Today's 2009 Formula One season opener in Australia marked the debut of kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) in the sport. Unfortunately, this first use of the new hybrid drive systems had mixed results. Only seven of the twenty cars on the grid were running with KERS and, in qualifying, the top result was seventh position for Ferrari's Felipe Massa. The BMW team ran one car with KERS and the other without. Robert Kubica qualified fourth fastest in the non-KERS car while Nick Heidfeld was in n
The opening of the 2009 Formula one season is only a month away in Melbourne, Austraiia and, for the first time, teams will be able to compete with KERS hybrid drive systems aboard. It's not clear yet how many of the teams are actually ready to run their systems, but there is one big concern: safety. Most of the teams are believed to be working with some sort of electric hybrid rather than a mechanical flywheel system. Drivers and pit and safety crews are working on procedures for handling the c
Up to this point, most Formula One race teams have maintained their usual veil of secrecy on what's inside their new cars. The Red Bull team has produced an interesting computer generated animation video that gives a little peak inside the new RB5 car that they are running for 2009. The most interesting aspect is the new KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) hybrid drive. Red Bull is one of the teams opting for an electric hybrid system. For 2009, teams are allowed to use KERS for the first time
Starting with the 2009 season. Formula One teams are allowed to use kinetic energy recovery systems (KERS) to boost performance. Over the course of the 2008 season, most of the teams started testing a few different systems with varying degrees of success. Many of these hybrid systems proved problematic, not to mention expensive, to develop. The Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) met in London this week to consider further cost reduction measures in the wake of Honda's abandonment of the sport.
All of the teams in Formula One have spent a significant portion of 2008 developing and testing the new Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) that will debut in 2009. Among the teams there is a mix of two basic types of systems, a mechanical flywheel-based system and electrical battery-based systems. Ferrari is among the latter group and development of the systems has proved challenging in the environment of a formula one race car where space and mass are at a premium. Apparently, the developme