Analysis: McLaren's 25kg KERS device

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After the obvious performance advantages of McLaren Mercedes' KERS system was displayed on track, Norbert Haug has given an insight into the set of components used by McLaren for the system. The complete system weighs a stunning 25kg.

In an interview with RTL television, Mercedes' motorsport manager has roughly explained each component and put it on display.

The below video is a capture of the broadcast in which Haug explains the KERS control unit (orange), the battery pack (black) and the motor-generator (metallic). He explains that, just like with most other KERS systems currently in use, the generator is attached to the front of the engine, directly on the crankshaft. From there cabling provides the link with the KERS control unit (located low in the left sidepod) and further on to the battery pack (low in the right sidepod).

Haug further explained: "We have worked hard on this system and it appears to be very competitive in relation to what others have come up with. Thanks to Mercedes Hybrid technology it was possible to do this within a 2 year timespan."

In terms of performance, the system charges fully in half a second under braking and can then release its charge gradually during 6 seconds, as required by the regulations.

Additionally, the weight has been an extremely important factor and Mercedes have managed to keep the total of the components below 25kg: "From what we hear, this is the lightest system available, and our pace depends on it. The McLaren cars have it integrated and we would certainly be slower without KERS".

When asked about the safety of the system, Norbert Haug and Michael Wilson confirmed that Mercedes has not yet experienced any KERS related problem like Ferrari by stating that their batteries have not exploded before.

"The team has done its very best in terms of safety, but obviously we cannot build a harness around the batteries as that would be too heavy. Even though our carbon fibre is extremely conductive, we have done the maximum to isolate the battery pack."

Haug concluded by saying that the Red Bull RB05 is fast because of it's great aerodynamics and because they have their ballast to play with: "All non-KERS teams have 30-40kg more ballast to play with, but the way I know Adrian [Newey], Red Bull have far more than 30kg to spare."