McLaren: Circumstance scuppered KERS

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh believes that a 'perfect storm' of circumstances is to blame for KERS failing to be a success in Formula 1

McLaren: Circumstance scuppered KERS

With only Ferrari running with KERS at last weekend's British Grand Prix, and teams set to drop the technology for 2010, several bosses have claimed that the introduction of the technology was a flop.

And although Whitmarsh agrees that the huge investment in KERS has been a waste, he thinks it was purely circumstances caused by new regulations that resulted in the experiment not working.

"The concept of KERS was probably the right thing to do for F1, but two years ago at Silverstone it seemed it was getting out of control in terms of the technical openness of it, and every team bar Williams agreed to abandon it," explained Whitmarsh.

"At the end of last year it was every team bar BMW, and we've always taken a flexible view on it. On those two occasions we were prepared to get rid of it.

"The regulations are incredibly wide, and they are challenging in that to develop a KERS system within the weight and packaging constraints of F1, with the power and energy limitations and still have performance is difficult.

"And if you look back on it now with hindsight, this industry has undoubtedly wasted a lot of money in that area, particularly if we are not going to be running with KERS next year.

"McLaren and Mercedes's position is that we believe we have come this far and should continue with KERS, but the spirit of cooperation that exists within F1 now with FOTA, we accept not using vetoes to block these things.

"A majority of teams want to block it and it has been unfortunate for us because we have put a tremendous amount of effort, with the added potential distraction in our engineering programme and concept of this car."

He added: "Like all of these things you get the perfect storm of issues. Putting it as kindly as possible, we were not as adventurous in our diffuser interpretation, and that gave us limitations in how you respond to it.

"We were behind on the development of the overall aero concept, and we have put a lot of effort into KERS because F1 was committing to it. Looking back we could have made some different decisions, but that is how hindsight works."

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