Cutting costs has been one of the biggest topics in F1 recently and it has lead to radical changes in the regulations of both the 2009 and 2010 seasons. One of the biggest contradictions to the overall theme of cost cutting has been the implementation of the Kinetic Energy Recovery System.
Teams have spent large sums attempting to fine tune the new technology which harnesses the normally wasted kinetic energy during braking and converts it into an 80 horsepower boost at the push of a button on the driver's steering wheel.
For 2009 this feature is optional, but claims that it would become mandatory for the 2010 season were at large earlier this year.
After a series of reliability and safety issues emerged this season due to the devices, Ferrari and McLaren became the only two teams still left with the desire and budget to run it.
It had been suggested that KERS would be abandoned at the end of the season but an article on the official F1 website outlining the new qualifying session layout suggests the contrary. At the end of the article the newly raised minimum weight rule is mentioned.
"Minimum car weight has been raised by 15kg to 620kg, to give teams running KERS more flexibility in terms of weight distribution and set-up, and tyre warmers will still be legal, despite previous talk of the heated blankets being banned."
The text seems to suggest that KERS will again be an optional feature for the teams. The implementation of an optional KERS system not only goes against the spirit of cutting costs but it also makes for an unbalanced grid with some cars being able to leap to the front at the start of races like Ferrari and McLaren have displayed numerous times this season.
This will also decrease the overtaking opportunities by the cars not running the system as KERS has been used effectively as a defensive tool this season as well.
Why not eliminate KERS and with some of the money saved, allow a little more in season testing? Why not level the grid so that all cars have equal opportunities during the starts and during the races?