Ferrari Have A New Sponsor, But No KERS Yet

Ferrari Have A New Sponsor, But No KERS Yet

Ferrari have managed to acquire a new sponsor for their team for the 2009 season, interestingly the company joining the logos on the F2009 is a car manufacturer. Despite all the clouds hanging over the motor industry at the moment, Indian car-maker Tata seem happy enough to spend some money for an association with Italy’s most famous of automobile brands. It is the first time an Indian company will adorn the flanks of a Ferrari Formula One car.

However, not everything is rosy at Maranello, the team once again suggesting they are way behind in the development of their KERS package. From 2009, the Kinetic Energy Recovery System will be allowed on the machines, giving the drivers a boost of power at the press of a button. However, while Williams and BMW seem to be on top of KERS and have been running a system of sorts for a few months now, Ferrari are behind and are putting together a contingency plan in case it isn’t ready by next March.

The objective is to arrive at the first race with a functioning and competitive KERS, but we also have a B plan: not a different car but a version without KERS. Aldo Costa.

We are late with the KERS. We prepared a hybrid F1 car to test it, but the system isn’t ready. In February we’ll understand how to go to the first grand prix. Gilles Simon.

If Ferrari cannot get their KERS device up to speed before the Australian Grand Prix, the team could suffer immeasurably. Ross Brawn has hinted in the past (before Honda pulled the plug) that although drivers cannot activate the device until a certain speed is reached, cars without KERS will suffer approaching the first corner of the first lap of races.


  • The part of this article that grabbed my attention is the bit at the very end. I had not though of KERS playing any part in the start of a race. If that is the case it raises some questions.

    How does KERS get powered up before the first corner?

    Should we expect to see drivers attacking on their pit out lap so that they brake enough to charge their KERS?

    Will we see multiple intallation laps during the pit lane open period to charge the KERS systems?

    Will the drivers attack on there green flag lap to the grid to charge their KERS?

    Are the teams allowed to charge the KERS systems in the pits and send them out fully charged?

    If the teams are not allowed to charge them how will the FIA check that they are discharged?

    I had always assumed that the KERS would be powered up by the driver during braking when the race started but that clearly is not the case.

  • If the KERS system can only be used above a certain speed, then that makes it even less use and more restricted than before. We’ve come a long way from the unrestricted KERS Max wanted.

    KERS could be powered up before the first corner through aggressive braking on the formation lap. It would require a different technique to what is used now (since the current emphasis is heating up the tyres) and the drivers will need to be careful not to induce flat-spotting with heavy braking, but a little power could be generated before the lights go out in a race. This also assumes that they are not simply recharged on the in-lap of the last qualifying session done, though in that case storing the electricity for 24 hours safely may pose a small problem.

    Drivers, in most situations, should be attacking the out lap of pit stops anyway. The fact that a lot of them don’t has provided the likes of Michael Schumacher many opportunities to overtake using better pit stop management.

    Safety car installation laps through the pits may not happen, especially at circuits where the pit lane is long, but if the pit lane is short (e.g. Monaco), some midfielders may take a punt, especially if their systems are relatively inefficient. However, if the loophole concerning pit stop recharging of the system is not closed, even that won’t happen.

    I can see green flag attacking happening for the same reason as formation lap attacking. It will give an advantage heading for the first corner of the re-start.

    I don’t think KERS is supposed to be chargeable in pit stops because of the health and safety risk (electricity + fuel = explosion + fire + lots of trouble), but I haven’t seen anything specifically banning such a thing yet. It is forbidden to add any liquid other than fuel, but since I do not think anyone is proposing to add the electricity in liquid format, there does not appear to be a regulatory bar to pit stop re-charging. For that matter, I do not think there is any bar to the system being removed and replaced with an identical one.

    Enforcing a KERS charge would be quite tricky. Could it be hidden in a wheel gun? A wing adjustor? A replacement KERS needed because of “accident damage” or “an electronic glitch”? Some other plausible device/method?

  • So does this mean this season itโ€™s going to be Scuderia Ferrari Tata?

    What an awesome name, a real good mix of cultures, reputations and market audience. By which I mean, Ferrari are luxury and flare (but often break), Tata are common and simple (but last longer than the owner)!

    Although I must say, and I know I’ve been banging on about it over the past year or so, but Indian influence is set for a big impact on Formula One in the future. If only they could get their darn track built!

Follow BlogF1