BMW Will Not Run KERS in Barcelona

For the first time this season, BMW Sauber will not use their Kinetic Energy Recovery System during a grand prix weekend. Mario Theissen, motorsport director of BMW, today confirmed that neither Nick Heidfeld, nor Robert Kubica, will drive KERS-powered F1.09s during the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix, at Barcelona.

Not using KERS in Spain doesn't have anything to do with a potential ineffectiveness of the technology on the Barcelona track though, but with the new aerodynamic package set up by the Hinwil based team for their European debut. According to Theissen, BMW Sauber are focusing solely on their new aero kit this weekend, and don't want KERS to interfere with the evaluation of their new package.

We will not have KERS in our two cars in Barcelona, because bringing in an aero update and running KERS does not work,” confirmed Theissen in a preview for the Spanish race. He did mention, however, that his team will proceed to using the unit from as early as the Turkey event, in early June.

BMW will therefore run without KERS in Monaco too, only this time it will be because of the characteristics of the circuit. The twisty streets of Monte Carlo make for low-speed corners and lack of long straights, which would make KERS deployment impossible.

So far, Nick Heidfeld has used KERS on his F1.09 during all of the 4 events this season, while teammate Kubica only benefited from the technology in Bahrain. The reason for that separation was that BMW had to design a lighter car for Kubica in order to incorporate the unit, as the Polich driver is heavier than his German teammate.

We did not use it constantly because of our car configuration. Given slick tires and the weight distribution, you need a good weight on the front axle, whereas KERS is placed in the middle of the car and cause more weight there, or even in the back,” confirmed Theissen.

The nightmare for Kubica is not to end soon, though, as FIA's new minimum weight rule (620 kg, as compared to the current 605 limit) is to be enforced no sooner than the 2010 season.
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