Trio oppose KERS introduction delay

BMW Sauber, Honda Racing and Williams will resist calls from rival teams to delay the introduction of Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) in Formula One, despite concerns about safety

Trio oppose KERS introduction delay

F1 teams have met twice in the past seven days to discuss the subject of KERS, with some teams feeling the safety worries and escalating costs of the technology mean it better to postpone their use in grand prix racing until 2010.

But with unified agreement among the teams needed to change F1's regulations, or at the very least put in place a gentleman's agreement that no one will run with the devices next year, the introduction of KERS looks certain to go ahead.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore is understood to have led calls for a delay when the matter was discussed at last week's Maranello meeting, with some teams happy for such a delay to happen if other teams agreed. However, with Honda, BMW and Williams opposed to such an idea, any move to postpone the introduction has been abandoned for now.

Team bosses met again in the paddock at the Hungaroring on Sunday morning to therefore implement a more open framework for resolving the issues - agreeing to publicise each outfit's safety and cost experiences.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen told autosport.com: "We think we should go ahead with it, and there were three aspects discussed in the meeting - two of them openly, which is safety and financial implications. And the other one, underlying the picture, is competitiveness, as you would expect.

"Our point of view is that it is good, not just for BMW but for the sport. And if it is good we should have it as soon as possible."

Theissen, whose team's KERS project is currently on hold while they investigate the recent electric shock incident at Jerez, said that delaying it would be of no benefit for costs or safety.

"No technical project has become cheaper by delaying its introduction. So if we delayed it by another year we would spend the same money without putting it on stage, and there is no sense at all.

"It is clear that we have to get the safety issues out of the way and we definitely will not race it until it is achieved. We are confident to achieve that safety and I don't see any other reason for a delay."

Theissen's feelings about the matter are echoed by Williams chief Frank Williams, who claims the vote taken at Maranello means there should be no going back.

"It is an exciting challenge that we are enjoying," he said. "There were two or three against the delay but we want to carry on with what we are doing."

Although BMW Sauber and Red Bull Racing have had safety scares with the systems, Honda Racing have so far experienced few problems - after becoming the first team to successfully complete a track test with their device at Silverstone last week.

Following a run at Santa Pod earlier this year, and having conducted rig test work on the device recently, Mike Conway drove a KERS system at Silverstone to show that the devices could work without problem.

Honda Racing team principal Ross Brawn told autosport.com: "We are happy to carry on with KERs, and we have put a lot of effort in. I think if we were the only ones who were stood out saying no then we might consider it (a delay), but we would generally be happier if it was kept."

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