- 2011 season
Lotus will not run KERS in 2011
Lotus will not run a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) in 2011, despite the expected return of the technology next season.
KERS was introduced in 2009 but the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) agreed not to run it this year on grounds of cost. FOTA's technical group is currently finalising the details of a cheaper return of KERS, with Ferrari and Renault pushing for a 150bhp boost for 10 seconds each lap. In 2009, the boost was about 80bhp for less than 7 seconds. However, Lotus is adamant it will be better off without the system.
"We will not use KERS next year and we have good reasons for this decision," team boss Tony Fernandes is quoted in Finland's Turun Sanomat. "This year we had to buy nearly all the [car] parts from other suppliers but now we are in a position to build the entire car in our factory.
"So we are trying to take advantage of the experience we have collected with the current car and to make the project more effective. If we were to have KERS, in accordance with the technical working group, we would have to start everything again from zero in terms of weight distribution. The big teams are in a different boat, already with solid experience of KERS from recent years.
"What we saw last season is that it is not easy to get KERS to operate effectively and reliably; it took a lot of time, money and resources. At Lotus we are fully confident that we are going to cope without it."
It is expected the return of KERS will be approved formally by the teams this weekend in Turkey, before the matter is referred to the FIA for inclusion in the technical regulations. It is likely that KERS will remain voluntary in 2011 and 2012 until a new engine formula debuts in 2013.