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Illegal KERS allegation to overshadow Malaysian Grand Prix? (Updated)

NEWS STORY
01/04/2009

Normally such things end at Midday (UK time), but, unlike some in this sport, we care about our fellow fans in north America so we left it up just a little bit longer... if you'll pardon the expression.

Anyway, the KERS story (below) is merely a naughty little April Fool ruse, though we know it had a few of you fooled, including a few inhabitants of 'Planet Paddock'. Then again, perhaps it was a little too close to the truth.

All complaints and compliments to....

The F1 Circus

..................................

After what can almost certainly be described as a refreshing opening to the 2009 season, seeing newcomers Brawn GP claim an emotional 1-2 at Albert Park, the last thing the sport needs right now is yet another scandal.

Already overshadowing the Melbourne weekend was the allegation that several teams were running suspect diffusers on their cars. Now, however, new allegations of cheating, almost on the eve of the Malaysian Grand Prix, threaten to put another nail in the coffin that is Formula One.

Sources close to the FIA have confirmed that three teams, whose identities currently remain undisclosed, have formally complained against no fewer than two teams for using "questionable" KERS systems during the season opener.

The allegations centre upon the amount of horsepower available to the drivers, with claims that several teams breached the 80 horsepower limit.

The duration of KERS used per lap is governed by the sport's new Electronic Control Unit (ECU), but it is alleged that certain teams have developed a workaround to allow the additional 80bhp output by the systems to generate additional power (up to 96bhp) while keeping the usable boost-time per lap within the allowable limit. Evidence presented against teams running the alleged illegal system stems from sophisticated sound recordings of their engines during the race.

The potential effect on the championship standings could cause a lot of confusion, especially if a ruling is not reached in time for this weekend's Grand Prix. If teams and drivers are docked points or given penalties for the first two races of the season after this weekend, it would surely seriously undermine what credibility F1 has left.

A statement is expected from the FIA prior to the first free practice session in Sepang.

This latest example of F1 becoming a battle on paper and in the Appeal Court rather than on the track is a situation that few of us really wanted to contemplate... yet, knowing the sport as we do, it does not come as a surprise.

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