FOTA vote to drop costly KERS for 2010

The teams’ organisation FOTA have agreed to drop the expensive Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) for next season.

The system was optional for this season but has had limited success where used, with teams like Ferrari, BMW Sauber and McLaren suffering from a lack of overall pace when carrying the heavy technology. The vote was agreed by the majority, but featured dissenters like BMW, who have spent considerable time and money on their KERS development.

BMW motorsport director Mario Theissen said: “We have voted in favour of KERS but, as with all the other FOTA decisions so far, we will go with the majority.”

The move demonstrates FOTA’s willingness to cut costs in the sport, perhaps to accommodate budget restrictions suggested by the FIA. But the FIA is unlikely to welcome the verdict, as it considers KERS important for the sport’s green credentials and relevance to road car technology.

FOTA are thought unlikely to back down from their position against the optional £40m budget cap and concomitant ‘two-tier’ rule structure. But speculation over the weekend suggests that Ferrari and Red Bull are in a similar position to Williams – ie, obliged to race in F1 in 2010 by a legal agreement. This could mean that their featuring on the final June 12 entry list, with a host of new teams, could end up excluding big names such as Renault, BMW, McLaren and Toyota.

These last four in particular will be pressing for a resolution to the crisis between the FIA and FOTA before Thursday.