EJ vs. KERS

During round 1 of the 2011 Formula 1 World Championship in Australia, BBC pundit Eddie Jordan reaffirmed his dislike of the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) that many teams are using, as they did in 2009.

I don’t really know why Mr Jordan doesn’t like KERS, although in a recent Q&A on the BBC Sport website he said

We have to do everything we can to make our lives greener and to be aware of our affect on climate change. So if Kers helps, then that is a strong argument for its reintroduction to Formula 1.

“But from a purely motor racing point of view, I think Kers is too heavy and too expensive to put back in the cars.

The weight is surely not an issue, as there is a minimum weight of Car and Driver, and this year the weight distibution is even regulated so ballast can’t be moved around too much, specifically to counteract the disadvantage of the ‘heavy’ KERS unit. The cost is a different matter, EJ is clearly coming from a small Team Owner’s point of view here, but as most of the smaller teams run customer engines from manufacturer teams there is presumably only a smallish increase in the money given over for the engines to gain the use of KERS, they won’t have the burden of extreme development costs.

The difference will be with the three teams that run with independant engine supplier, Cosworth. Of those teams, Williams is best placed for KERS, owning it’s own Hybrid development enterprise and supplying the KERS units found in GT3 Porsches. The other two are Hispania and Marussia Virgin, Hispania use the Williams rear end and transmission following an agreement last season, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to install KERS, as long as they have left enough space in the chassis – their main sticking point would be whether they have enough cash, which doesn’t seem likely. I can’t see Marussia Virgin developing a KERS unit by themselves, although they may be able to buy one for next season, again if they have enough cash.

But he main point of me writing this was to expand on a tweet I made during the Australian GP last Sunday;

EJ needs to get over this aversion to KERS or at least shut up about it! Don’t ruin another season by ranting every session about it

I said that because, for me at least, his constant moaning about KERS was the one main problem with the BBC’s excellent first year back covering the sport. Every session he would go on about how unreliable the KERS was, how heavy it was, and how no car running with KERS would win a race that season. The fact that he isn’t the best on live TV as he stumbles over his own words and digresses on subjects at every given opportunity meant the majority of screen time was taken up with his viewpoint on KERS, and it spoilt the season. Made me dislike him greatly after supporting his team – as a second/third team – since they entered Formula 1 in 1991.

Last year, he totally turned it around, as he wasn’t so obsessed with one subject, his rambling was about interesting things , and I found myself agreeing with his viewpoint more often than not and by the end of the season I was enjoying listening to him, laughing with him, rather than shouting at him and he totally regained my respect as a pundit – he never lost it as a team owner, he was fantastic at Jordan Grand Prix – and I was actually looking forward to him having a bit more time following David Coulthard’s move to the commentary box. The problem being, he seems to be using that extra time to moan about KERS again!

Come on Eddie, we all know you don’t like KERS, maybe do a feature on why you are so opposed to it, countered by a chat with someone who is all for it afterwards with Jake and DC, but please, stop mentioning it every two minutes! Don’t kill 2011 the same way you did 2009!

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