Toyota engine chief says KERS 'primitive'

Toyota engine chief Luca Marmorini believes that the FIA's plans to introduce environmentally-friendly technology in Formula One do not go far enough

Although several teams have said they are excited about the arrival of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) next year, Marmorini thinks that the move will not actually be as technically challenging as some have predicted.

He thinks the KERS devices in F1 will not be as advanced as those seen in other racing categories, and that means they will be of limited use for helping the road car industry.

"The adoption of energy recovery leaves me rather perplexed because the system chosen by the FIA is really primitive," Marmorini said in an interview with Italian magazine Autosprint.

"(They are) extremely simplified compared to the system we have on the Toyota Prius road car, or even on the Toyota Supra HV-R that won the 24 Hours of Tokachi.

"The potential of hybrid engines is immense, but the solution chosen by the FIA restricts itself to recover energy from the rear wheels. The parameters involved should be more.

"Let's say that, if the Supra that races at Tokachi recovers 70% of the dissipated energy, the system chosen for F1 restricts itself to 20%.

"This system will end up being the same for everyone too, and in this case we'll refer to it as an accessory, devaluing a great technical issue along the way."

Marmorini's calls for more radical systems in F1 have been backed by famed car designer Mauro Forghieri, who has made no secret of the fact that he is unhappy with the engine regulations in Grand Prix racing.

"The environmental way of energy recovery and percentages of bio fuels is an interesting thing, but this aspect could be done more radically by defining a maximum amount of energy available, giving the engine designers full freedom to find the most suitable and imaginative technical solutions," he told Autosprint.

"It's sad to realize that today, in order to see an ample variety of engines in a race, you need to look at endurance racing, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, while F1 has become like F3 engine-wise, only faster and infinitely more expensive."

Forghieri said he was no longer excited by F1 due to the introduction of an engine freeze.

"I don't even watch the Grands Prix anymore. Not only because of the lack of spectacle, but most of all for the lack of technical aspects," he explained.

"The engine aspect has simply disappeared, and for a technician like me, who has always tried to do new and original things, also making mistakes along the way at times, to see all the engines the same in architecture and performance it's really too much to swallow.

"In the name of safety and cost reduction someone has decided that engine research and development should be halted and frozen. Are we sure this was the right way to do it?"

He added: "If we had the current rules in the past, forcing equal engines, just think of how many technical solutions would never have been discovered.

"There wouldn't have been the turbo, the comprex (supercharger), pneumatic valves, direct injection and the common rail (diesel fuel injection system).

"Nowadays engines are an accessory, which the team can buy and install in the car and forget about all the rest. Engines are like the tyres or the spark plugs, just an accessory that must guarantee a certain efficiency and reliability as defined in the rules."

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