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Updated: September 6, 2009 16:42 IST

Force India closes KERS option

PTI
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Vijay Mallya
PTI Vijay Mallya

With just five races to go before the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) becomes history, Force India Formula One team has closed that option, saying it’s not worth the money or hassle.

Force India chairman Vijay Mallya said that introducing KERS at this stage would not only upset the car’s balance but also burn a hole in his pocket.

With the Formula One Team Association (FOTA) deciding to shun KERS from the next season, Mallya said it was not worth spending a fortune on the device.

“It’s going to be impossible to introduce KERS in the last five races,” he said.

“It weighs a good 30 kilos, changes the entire balance of the car and just for five races, well, I think it’s useless,” Mallya said.

KERS was introduced this year to rev up racing with the device allowing drivers an 80bhp power boost which they can use for up to 6.7 seconds each lap.

Force India’s VJM02 cars were initially designed to run KERS and the outfit had plans to introduce it from European Grand Prix onwards but the weight and cost factors made them change their mind.

A typical KERS package weighs 30-35 kgs and Force India engineers realised that if they fit it to Adrian Sutil’s car, the VJM02 will cross the weight limit even with a minimal fuel load.

Mallya was not much impressed with KERS, even though he conceded that the device made sporadic difference in the second part of the season.

For instance in Spa, where it cost Force India its first race win as Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen used the boost to get past Giancarlo Fisichella’s VJM02.

“I think what happened in lot of races that some teams, not all, spent lots of money developing cars with KERS. In the first half of the season, KERS did not work at all.

“But in the second half of season, it did occasionally, like in Spa, it made a difference. Indeed, if Ferarri did not have KERS, we would have won the race. Fisichella was quicker than him right from the start,” Mallya said.

“The fact remains that from next year, there is no KERS any more. So at the end of the day, there is no point spending enormous money to get KERS for just five races,” Mallya said.

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