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Thursday, August 13, 2009
Mercedes-Benz F1 KERS Hybrid
Image: © 2009 Daimler AG

Hungarian Grand Prix - Mercedes-Benz Wins With KERS Hybrid Technology

WOKING, UNITED KINGDOM - At last month's Hungarian Grand Prix, 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton took his first win of the season for the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team. Hamilton also set an historic mark for Mercedes-Benz Motorsport by winning their first ever Formula 1 race using KERS hybrid drive technology.

For the 2009 Formula 1 season, the FIA technical rules that govern F1 car construction were changed to allow for KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems). KERS is a hybrid drive technology that captures braking energy of the Formula 1 cars as they decelerate into the corners at each racing circuit and then applies this stored energy up to a maximum of 60 kilowatts at subsequent acceleration points within the lap. FIA 2009 rules state a requirement that the KERS energy must be delivered to only the rear wheels of the car and manually delivered by the F1 pilot. Each F1 team has their own closely guarded technology for KERS, which has been developed within the constraints of the 2009 FIA rules. 

KERS Hybrid technology has also changed the race strategy of the F1 teams. For instance, at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix last month the extra torque and power from KERS helped Lewis Hamilton catapult past Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen to take third place, and he almost secured second place from Mark Webber. It was the instant-on boost from the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes KERS technology, and the skilful application of this by Hamilton which made the difference. Norbert Haug, Vice-President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, was thrilled with last month's race result saying, "an historic win, the first with the KERS Hybrid in Formula 1 - the Silver Arrows are flying again!"

For F1 teams like Mercedes-Benz, the development of highly advanced KERS Hybrid systems also work their way back into the design of their production cars, because developing the highest efficiency on the race track has a positive conversion to energy savings in the real world.

At this month's European Grand Prix (August 23rd, 2009), Michael Schumacher, replacing injured Felipe Massa, will return to F1 after a three-year retirement and take to the wheel of a Ferrari F1 car with its advanced KERS Hybrid technology. The seven-time F1 world champion has been testing the functionality of the KERS steering wheel controls on the simulator at Ferrari's factory, so that he can become accustomed to applying the power on the race circuit later this month.

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