Following Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo's criticism of Formula 1's new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology, Mercedes-Benz has now become the latest of the sport's major players to question the 2009 device.
Di Montezemolo had branded the energy-saving initiative as irrelevant to road car technology and 'a mistake' whose costs are 'very high' [see separate story – click here
], and following Honda's shock withdrawal from the top flight at the end of last week, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug told Swiss magazine Motorsport Aktuell
that 'the time for games is over' and that the sport's out-of-control expenditure must now be reined in.
Whilst some teams – like BMW-Sauber in particular – are keen to press ahead with KERS, others have been encountering more difficulties, and are in favour of postponing its introduction.
Haug tended to agree, describing KERS as 'an extremely expensive exercise' and arguing that governing body the FIA would do well to put it to one side for now and 'think about it later'. The German contended that in so doing, engine budgets could be slashed by as much as 25 per cent.
Meanwhile, the team principal of Mercedes' F1 partner McLaren has taken a pop at Honda's 'Earth Dreams' campaign, with the Japanese concern having sought to promote an environmentally-friendly message in 2007 and 2008 – a move that some have dismissed as being merely a cover-up to hide the fact that no major sponsors had been forthcoming [see separate story – click here
Speaking to marketing publication Brand Republic
, Ron Dennis admitted that he doubted the sincerity of the Brackley-based outfit's sentiment, insisting: “The most important issue when presenting a green image is that it is authentic.”
“Honda's 'earth car' was driven more by the perception it wanted the public to have than its true objectives,” the 61-year-old added.