Following two incidents in two weeks, it looks like the ballyhooed KERS hybrid system might not make it onto Formula 1 cars for 2009 -- at least, not the first races. Teams have begun to talk about how much difficulty they're having in building a safe system. KERS not only needs to work when the car is racing around the track, it also needs to be engineered properly in the event of a 300-kph accident.
In addition to Red Bull's smoke and fumes and BMW's bolt from the blue, Mark Weber said that teams are struggling to deal with the chemicals in the batteries. Supposedly, the stuff that runs off a blown up KERS battery is poisonous arsenic. Toyota's head of engine development said all the teams are having trouble, and Williams Driver Nico Rosberg appeared to doubt whether his team would have it ready by the first race of '09. The teams have scheduled to discuss the matter at their next Technical Working Group meeting. As for us, we can live with or without KERS. Just keep the slicks, will you?