BMW mechanic escapes KERS scare

Questions about the safety of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in Formula One were raised again on Tuesday when a BMW Sauber mechanic suffered an electric shock after touching a car fitted with the device during testing at Jerez in Spain

BMW mechanic escapes KERS scare

BMW Sauber were conducting further evaluation of their KERS on the first day of this week's test, with Christian Klien at the wheel of a modified car that featured some 2009-aero concepts and an early version of their energy recovery device.

Klien had just completed a three-lap installation run in the morning when he returned to the pits. After stopping in the pitlane, mechanics attended to the car to wheel him backwards into the team's garage - but the first mechanic to touch the car fell to the ground after receiving an electric shock.

He was pulled to his feet by fellow team members and, after being examined in the medical centre, he was found to have suffered no serious injury.

Klien has not yet returned to the track and is unlikely to do so until the team fully understands what went wrong this morning.

A team spokesman told autosport.com: "During the testing of the KERS car at the Jerez test track today, there was an incident involving a mechanic when the car returned to the pits. He touched it and suffered an electric shock.

"He sustained slight injuries to his left hand and grazing on his left arm. After a brief examination at the track's medical centre, he has returned to the test team. We are currently investigating the incident."

The Jerez pitlane incident comes less than a week after Red Bull Racing were forced to evacuate part of their factory in Milton Keynes after a battery system test of their KERS went wrong.

The issue of KERS safety has been discussed between the teams already this year, but with work now accelerating on getting the devices ready for 2009, there is a renewed urgency to the matter.

Toyota team principal John Howett told autosport.com in Hockenheim: "I think all of these issues have been on the table from the beginning. So you have voltage issues, you have the battery issues; you have the cost of registering the batteries to transport them. People who use high-speed rotating flywheels have also got issues there.

"The perception of KERS is very simple, but the execution is incredibly difficult and the road car applications are completely different from a race car. Whereas the motor, the control unit, the battery, and the basic concept is similar, the actual sophistication and needs of a road car are completely different from what we are having to develop in Formula One. So there is a big difference"

shares
comments
Toyota sign new deal with Chiemsee

Previous article

Toyota sign new deal with Chiemsee

Next article

Honda look to suspension to move forward

Honda look to suspension to move forward
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021