BMW Sauber have abandoned their KERS system for the immediate future, and will not run it in Barcelona at this weekend´s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Swiss-German outfit have endured a difficult time with their system, which has yielded no obvious benefits for their F1.09 car. At the last grand prix in Bahrain, the first time both drivers ran the system, both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld struggled with the balance of the car.
New aero upgrades are planned for the Circuit de Catalunya, and team principal Mario Theissen explained that it was for this reason that the KERS was put on hold.
“We will not have KERS in our two cars in Barcelona, because bringing in an aero update and running KERS does not work,” said Theissen.
He also announced that the system would not be used at Monaco either, although many teams are expected to do the same considering the nature of the Monte Carlo circuit.
“We will have KERS on our cars probably in Turkey again,” he stated.
Theissen went on to defend the principle of using KERS, and promised that BMW were not abandoning it for good.
“As a technology our summary is very positive,” said Theissen. “It worked without failures. The positive result of KERS so far was that it worked even in the monsoon of Malaysia,” (where Heidfeld finished second).
“We did not use it constantly because of our car configuration. Given slick tyres and the weight distribution, you need a good weight on the front axle, whereas KERS is placed in the middle of the car and cause more weight there, or even in the back.”
KERS will be mandatory from next season onwards, although many teams are fighting that decree on the grounds of cost.