Shanghai 2009: Ferrari Say KERS Removal Not Helping

Shanghai 2009: Ferrari Say KERS Removal Not Helping

The KERS device used by Ferrari has seen its fair share of problems since before the season commenced, and following a spate of issues in Malaysia two weeks ago, Gestione Sportiva took the decision to remove KERS from the F60s for this weekend’s race in China. It was hoped that by removing the new technology the cars would become more reliable and with the saved weight, performance would be improved by allowing more ballast to be placed in the car at the driver’s wishes.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali stated yesterday that his team need to start finishing races before they can focus on the improvements to the overall performance; a general rule in motor racing of before finishing first, you first need to finish. So far in 2009, the reigning constructors champions have failed to score any points.

At this moment we need to be basic, we need to bring home what we can in these conditions and wait for the development of the new car and then see. At this stage it is really important to be basic with everything. Stefano Domenicali.

However, after the completion of both free practice sessions in Shanghai earlier, it was made clear that removing KERS from the cars has not helped so far this weekend. In the first practice session, Kimi Raikkonen went P11 with team mate Felipe Massa finishing in P15. The second 90 minute stint saw both cars only slightly improve, Raikkonen to P9 and Massa to P12.

Here we are also running without KERS and as a result, we are losing even more performance, in addition to not having as much aerodynamic downforce as the best cars.

Our fight for the championship is ever more compromised. Felipe Massa.

Earlier in the week, Massa was upbeat about the chances of a comeback for the Ferrari team, saying that the season is only two races old and that the race for the title is far from over.

We need to work very hard, we have some teams which have a different car. It won’t be so easy to catch them but I think it can be possible. Felipe Massa.

The reason for the lack of improvement after removing KERS was put down to the fact the F60 was designed with the energy recovery device in mind. Therefore, removing it has shown to be counter-productive. The cars should be able to complete a race distance now, as other components seem to be okay on the reliability front. Although admittedly, the car perhaps hasn’t been pushed as much due to the fact that of the four races run so far (two for each driver) the Scuderia have only produced one clear finish. And even then, it was at the significantly shortened Malaysian Grand Prix.


  • As I wrote a blog post,Ferrari is taking some frustrated decisions just after the 2 races.The decision in Malaysia(Wet tyres) and again now(not using KERS) shows how frustrated they are after not scoring even a single point in 2009 season.

  • Ferrari wouldn’t put KERS back in the car until the B-spec car arrives in Spain. But if they can manage to fix the reliability issues, Ferrari can be very competitive in Bahrain with a KERS equipped car. Because the circuit in Bahrain suits Ferrari better and they had two weeks of testing there with the slick tires. Also the temperatures will be higher which is another positive thing.

  • The decision in Malaysia(Wet tyres) and again now(not using KERS) shows how frustrated they are

    Indeed. When a team takes big and untested gambles, it reeks of desperation. It’s funny to look back and compare the Ferrari of Todt and Schumacher to the Ferrari of Domenicali, Raikkonen and Massa.

    Previously when it all went a bit awry for them, the team remained cool under the pressure and methodically worked through their issues. Now though, they seem to fall apart as soon as something goes a bit wrong. Combined with all the pitstop issues from last year, and you could say that Ferrari have lost their edge and don’t look like finding it again for quite a while.

    But if they can manage to fix the reliability issues, Ferrari can be very competitive in Bahrain

    True. Like pre-’09 Malaysia, Ferrari do tend to run well at Bahrain. But reliability isn’t the only key holding them back at the moment. It is also the silly decisions they seem to be making with some regularity.

  • Let’s see what Chris Dyer will bring in terms of strategy to Ferrari. We have seen enough silly decisions during last two years from Ferrari. I think Dyer will be much more conservative in his calls at the beginning since Ferrari cannot afford similar errors anymore, but once he gains confidence he will be on his way of success. Don’t forget, he was the engineer behind Schumacher and Raikkonen.

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