Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of updates; I’ve come down with the only thing that is worse than Swine Flu – Man Flu. Oh okay, it’s just a cold, but I’m allowed to exaggerate! But in order to start feeling better, I need to convince myself I am feeling better, so on with the show. There hasn’t been much news over the weekend, a bank holiday in the UK, but today BMW announced that neither of their drivers would be using KERS in Barcelona this weekend.
BMW have been utilising the energy recovery technology with Nick Heidfeld’s car since the beginning of the season, and Robert Kubica was allowed to use KERS for the recent Bahrain Grand Prix. However, the team are introducing a sizeable aerodynamic upgrade to the F1.09 for the Spanish Grand Prix and want to focus their energies on getting all they can out of the update.
With a ban on in-season testing, the first time the upgrades will be used will be on Friday so we can expect both drivers to post a fair few laps in both sessions. Other teams are also introducing updates to their cars, most notably Ferrari who are hoping to build on their first points finish in Bahrain. I think this Friday will be very busy and easily the most important Free Practice session of the year so far.
We will not have KERS in our two cars in Barcelona, because bringing in an aero update and running KERS does not work. We will have KERS on our cars probably in Turkey again. Mario Theissen.
The reason for the Swiss-German squad delaying KERS’s return until Turkey is because they feel its effect will be very minimal around the tight and twisty Monaco circuit. It is my expectation that very few if not any of the drivers will have the boost button in Monte Carlo.
All eyes on Friday will undoubtedly be on the top-three finishers from last year who have all experienced a poor start to the season; Ferrari, McLaren and BMW. Unfortunately for this trio, championship leaders Brawn will also introduce some updates to their BGP 001.
Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona this weekend. Ross Brawn.
The championship is about to enter its second phase as the teams begin to race closer to home in Europe (Toyota, although Japanese are based in Cologne, Germany) and updates to the respective cars should start arriving thick and fast. The ban on testing though will make the development very interesting to observe, with particular note to Ferrari’s KERS system that has been playing havoc with the Scuderia since the Australian Grand Prix.