Max Mosley has hit out at long-time FIA rivals Ferrari over the Scuderia's
open criticism of the new KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology due to be introduced into the top flight next season.
Some teams have already begun testing the energy-saving device – with BMW-Sauber in particular a vociferous supporter of it – but Ferrari will not debut it until the New Year, as reports in Germany publication Auto Motor und Sport
suggest both the team and electronics partner Magneti Marelli's major issue is regarding the electric motor.
There have also been concerns about the cost of the new initiative, with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug suggesting 25 per cent of engine expenditure could be slashed if KERS were to be shelved [see separate story – click here
Ferrari's F2009 is set to his the testing tracks in January, but it is understood that the Maranello-based concern is not even sure whether the car will be equipped with KERS come the opening grand prix of the new campaign Down Under in Melbourne at the end of March.
In company with chief rivals Mercedes, Ferrari is known to want the system to be delayed for a year, and technical director Aldo Costa has caustically referred to it as 'the famous KERS', insisting in an interview with Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
that 'it has to be compact and lightweight, affecting the handling of the car as little as possible'.
“We will begin testing KERS with our new car,” added spokesman Luca Colajanni.
FIA President Mosley, however – who has embarked upon a series of drastic cost-cutting measures in an effort to prevent more teams from following Honda's example in walking away from F1 due to its out-of-control expenditure – has revealed that KERS would be 'the last thing' to be got rid of
“We've finally found a serious engineering challenge for the teams in KERS,” UK newspaper The Independent
quotes the 68-year-old as having told the Motor Sport Business Forum in Monaco this week, “but some, such as Ferrari, have said that they don't like KERS because it is 'too complicated'.
“Could you imagine the great F1 engineers like [Colin] Chapman or [Keith] Duckworth saying 'I can't do that because it is too complicated'? It is a symptom of a disease in F1 where incremental change becomes the whole object of the exercise and real serious innovation plays no part.”
The sense of implementing KERS technology in 2009 has also been questioned by former triple F1 World Champion Niki Lauda, who echoed some teams' desire to postpone its introduction until the present economic crisis has abated somewhat.
“The current topic is, for reasons of cost-cutting, using the engines now for three or four races [rather than two],” the Austrian told German-language sports magazine Kicker
. “At the very same time every team is in the middle of an incredibly difficult development phase, spending €20 million or €30 million each on gaining 80 horsepower for a few seconds per lap.”