Just a few Formula One updates for this week. With less than 100 days left until Melbourne, there has already been an awful lot of news from the F1 world, and I expect that there will be a lot more in the weeks and months to come. One of the big topics that’s going to rear its head is KERS.
The Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems that will see engine braking affect the overall performance of the car has ended up costing the teams a lot of cash, which seems weird considering that Bernie and Max want to cut costs. Hmmm, will they finally get it in their heads that changing the rules actually ends up costing the teams exorbitant amounts of money that they wouldn’t have had to spend if the rules stayed the same? Probably not. I mean, it is Max and Bernie we are talking about. One guy was caught with his pants down – literally – and the other didn’t realize his wife was divorcing him or had a PR agent! Yes, these two are in charge of trying to keep F1 on the straight and narrow. And you wonder why things are so screwed up right now?
It has also come out that KERS may not even be implemented by many teams when Melbourne comes around. It is a voluntary system, so the teams don’t need to implement it right now, though the FIA is considering standardizing the system by 2010, much like the common ECU right now, but more testing will need to be done by more teams, and that of course, means more money spent. Even McLaren has said that dropping KERS from their cars could save them up to 25% of their engine budget. Personally, I think KERS should be dropped right now, and then the teams can reevaluate it next year, or over summer break. But for now, there is no need for this silly system.
Also, with winter testing currently going on, Sebastian Vettel has consistently been at the top of the time sheets. I’m not sure what this means for the actual season as there is still a lot of time left before the teams head down under, but he is proving himself fast in the Red Bull and that is a good thing. It should be an interesting year this year if the Red Bull can come to the fore and we maybe get a new team on the grid.
Though that new team would be, in fact, just the Honda F1 team with a different name on it. With Subaru dropping out of WRC for the moment, it has given David Richards a lot more to think about. Prodrive can now fully think about switching from the rally circuit to F1. He has expressed more than a passing interest in the Brackley based team and I really hope he can find the financial backing he needs to make Prodrive the next F1 team.
More updates are to come I’m sure. So stay tuned and we will find out just how this season shapes up. Hopefully it shapes up better than how the cars are supposedly going to look, because they are butt-ugly.