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Ecclestone blames KERS for Williams fire

NEWS STORY
30/05/2012

Regular readers of Pitpass will know that Formula One's boss Bernie Ecclestone is not a big fan of introducing environmentally friendly technology into the sport. In August last year he told our business editor Christian Sylt that there is "no way" electric engines will be used by F1 cars in the pitlane as had been planned. He has now turned his attention to KERS which uses energy created under braking to give F1 cars a boost on acceleration.

Writing in today's edition of London-based business newspaper CityAM, Sylt quotes Ecclestone saying that KERS should not have been introduced due to its cost and its possible role in causing a fire after the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month.

The fire engulfed the Williams team garage after Pastor Maldonado spectacularly won the race in Barcelona. It led to three Williams personnel being taken to hospital and unsettled its preparations for last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix where Maldonado crashed out whilst his team-mate Bruno Senna finished tenth.

Investigations into what caused the fire are still being carried out by Williams in collaboration with the local authorities and the FIA. However, Ecclestone already seems to have a good idea of the outcome.

"I think the Williams fire was a lot to do with that kinetic energy thing which sparked. It should never have been introduced in the first place. It's an expensive secret because nobody knows anything about it. The public don't know and don't care," says Ecclestone.

KERS was first introduced in 2009 but was not popular and was banned after a year. It returned in 2011 as an optional extra and pundits have suggested that it is one of the reasons why there is now closer racing in F1 with each of the six races so far this year having a different winner.

"We've got good racing at the moment but it's nothing to do with KERS. It's to do with the tyres. You could get rid of KERS and it wouldn't change the racing," insists Ecclestone.

He returns to the old chestnut of running cars on electric motors in the pitlane and describes the plan as "complete rubbish." He adds "if the teams reduced the size of their motorhomes or the team units they would need less trucks to take them there. Mercedes has got, I think, 22 trucks so if they reduced two of those you wouldn't need to use electric motors in the pitlane. The trucks are bigger polluters than the cars. I'm happy that the teams want to preserve all of that for their sponsors and brand image but they shouldn't talk rubbish."

Thanks to the guys at ForMark Racing for the picture

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