Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems are being used by every car in the field for the first time this year.
Introduced in 2009, the hybrid engine systems convert energy that would otherwise be wasted during deceleration to give drivers an extra boost of performance they can use when needed.
In this video from Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg explain how KERS works and how they use it differently in a race scenario and when they are setting a hot lap in qualifying.
Hamilton was the first driver to win a race using KERS in the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, running Mercedes’ system on his McLaren.
Drivers can adjust how much energy KERS harvests using controls on their steering wheel. This has a strong effect on the car’s performance under braking, making it important for them to choose the right setting depending on the conditions.
The technology is set for an overhaul next year when teams will be allowed to use more sophisticated and more powerful Energy Recovery Systems. The maximum energy they can use will rise tenfold, from 400kJ to 4MJ. This will more than double the current power 80bhp power boost drivers get from KERS.
Drivers will have 33.3s of boost available per lap, up from 6.7s.