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Williams undecided on KERS debut

Williams are keeping an open mind about when they will introduce their unique Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) this season - with the team suspecting that bigger performance benefits will actually come from other areas of the car at the start of the campaign

The Grove-based outfit are alone in choosing to develop their own fly-wheel system for this year, and have set up the Williams Hybrid Power company to bring the technology on tap.

Although reports this week, based on quotes from a Nico Rosberg interview published in Germany, suggested that the team would definitely not be using KERS until the Turkish Grand Prix in May, Williams have clarified that their German driver's comments were taken out of context.

In fact, Rosberg and the team are both well aware that no firm decision has been made about what their plans are for when KERS will be used. The only decision that has been made is that Williams will not run the system at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

After that, the team will monitor KERS progress carefully before deciding when it comes on board for a race. With so much performance still to be gained from a well-honed setup to cope with the new cars and slick tyres, the benefits of pursuing KERS will not be fully realised for a little while anyway.

A Williams spokesman told autosport.com: "The situation here is that we are working to bring the technology to the car but we are not going to race it in Melbourne.

"The rationale for this is that the greatest performance opportunities are currently in the weight distribution, balance and optimising set-up for the slick tyre. This is where we focus initially. We will introduce KERS as and when we have a system that can improve performance."

Although Williams' decision to develop their own system means it may take longer than an off-the-shelf manufacturer unit to be ready, it should bring more benefits in its potential later on.

Furthermore, it will also increase the chances of the technology spinning off into applications outside of racing - as the FIA has been keen to see.

The spokesman added: "As we are developing our own motor and our own energy storage system, it will take longer and be higher risk, but our approach offers a higher potential reward.

"It also means that the work we are doing for our Formula One programme is accelerating the introduction of this technology for other applications.

"In the medium term, this may prove to be the biggest contribution of KERS as the FIA and Williams hoped from the outset of the initiative. Naturally, the date for the introduction of our system to the car will be kept under review."

Williams' engine supplier Toyota have already announced that they will not be running KERS at the start of the season, while other manufacturers remain unsure about their plans.

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