Williams in Doubt Over KERS Debut

Although they won't use an electrical Kinetic Energy Recovery System in 2009, Williams F1 team might not implement the new technology in the FW31 car from as early as Melbourne. Williams F1 technical director Sam Michael argued that there are plenty of areas where the team has to improve – like the cooling system or gearbox – before thinking about incorporating the flywheel-based unit into the car.

“It's very difficult to sign off KERS in time for Melbourne with all the other things we are trying to do. We are trying to make sure that the cooling and gearbox and everything else on the car is working first, and we are also concentrating on making sure our mechanical and aerodynamic package is optimized before we try and get KERS on the car. Introducing KERS during the season, if you don't start with it won't be easy, but it's not impossible,” said Michael.

Williams' technical ace argued that starting the new season with a competitive aerodynamic package is much more important in terms of on-track performances than developing a technology that can only bring you a quarter-of-a-second more per lap.

“If you get something wrong on the aerodynamics or you get something wrong mechanical, you can lose seconds. Whereas KERS, even when you have everything 100% reliable is worth two and a half or three tenths.”

“It's important... and that two and a half or three tenths will be important during the season, but to start with it will be swamped by the aero and getting the setup of the car right around the slicks and making sure all the mechanicals don't break,” added Michael.

Ferrari, Renault and Toyota have also expressed doubts about using the new technology from as early as the season opener, in Australia. However, all 3 teams will be using battery-based systems in 2009.
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