Williams will continue to develop their KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) technology despite other Formula One teams agreeing to shelve the scheme. KERS recovers energy generated by the brakes and stores it to give drivers a brief burst of extra power at the push of a button. McLaren and Ferrari have both won races this season with KERS-equipped cars but Williams have yet to get their flywheel system to the point where they are happy to race it.
"We fully support the use of KERS and always have done," the technical director Sam Michael said ahead of Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix. "Given the environmental and sustainability pressures that Formula One is going to face in the future, KERS is a positive step for the sport. "It's in next year's regulations, so we're continuing developing our system with a view to using it on next year's FW32 [car]," said Michael.
Ferrari said in July that they had frozen development of their system while the Formula One Teams Association (Fota) agreed to jettison KERS for 2010 as part of agreed cost cuts. However, the governing International Automobile Federation have left KERS in the 2010 regulations and remain committed to the technology. The FIA president Max Mosley said earlier this month that KERS was an "essential part of Formula One".
"It's the one technology that the public can understand, that you can see what it does and it's very important because KERS will be on every road car within the next 20 or 30 years if not sooner," he said at the Italian Grand Prix. "Formula One is a great place to develop that technology." With refuelling stops banned next year, fuel efficiency will become far more important and Mosley said KERS would be a part of that and stay in the regulations.
"Nobody has to use it [in 2010] but what will probably happen is that somebody will use it and then they will all have to," he added. The Williams co-owner Patrick Head said at the Italian Grand Prix earlier this month that his team, who were at that time suspended from Fota, were the only ones to vote for the retention of KERS at a technical meeting in August. "The matter of Fota's position is a voluntary agreement by the Fota teams," he said. "Personally I think it's a bad decision, I think KERS is now showing considerable interest."