KERS Efficiency Adding New Dimensions To The Sport Of Formula 1
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - The next Formula 1 race date for the 2009 season is this weekend's Sunday event in Istanbul, Turkey - June 7, 2009. For the Brawn Mercedes F1 team, their Mercedes-Benz engine power has been one of the huge success stories, and specifically it is the Mercedes F0 108W Formula 1 engine that has helped catapult the team to victory. Brawn Mercedes driver, Jenson Button, whose most recent win was at the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of last month (May 24, 2009), currently leads the Driver's Championship with 51 points. Button's teammate, Rubens Barrichello, is in second place with 35 points, driving the other Brawn Mercedes.
The Brawn Mercedes team is also well ahead in the Constructor's Championship with 86 points, due to the combined success of the Jenson Button - Rubens Barrichello partnership in consistently getting onto the podium for the first six races of the 2009 season. This year the Brawn Mercedes team has had three 1-2 finishes of the six races raced. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport says that Jenson Button's last three wins utilized the same engine without a replacement, which used to be unheard of durability in Formula 1.
The new racing element for all F1 teams this year is KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems), which captures braking energy and re-applies the power to later sections of the circuit. This year, some F1 teams are having more success with KERS than others. KERS provides a clear advantage on circuits where the corner exiting speed is slow and the driver can input the instant-on power and torque of KERS in exiting the corner to supplement engine power and hence gain separation distance. KERS technology is a closely guarded secret of all the F1 teams this year, but what was clear in the middle of the season last year was that the old Brawn-Honda partnership were extremely happy with their KERS development work, and this engineering mated to the Mercedes engine is proving very successful this year.
The promotion of new power delivery systems like KERS that increase efficiency and reduce emissions in Formula 1 will only be a good thing for the sport. With the higher technology applications entering upcoming year's FIA rule books, you will only see more automotive companies wanting to stay in F1 or re-enter it to develop and showcase their zero-emissions technology in one of the most competitive test environments there is ... the sport of Formula 1.
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