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Kimi and the Kers curse

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F1 Mole | 10:46 UK time, Friday, 3 April 2009

Kimi Raikkonen performed his best Mika "Flying Finn" Hakkinen impersonation as he was forced to leap out of his Ferrari in the closing stages of the first practice session in Malaysia.

The 2007 world champion said he was struggling to breathe as smoke poured from the side and rear of his car at the Sepang International Circuit.

Ferrari said it was neither the result of the in-built fire extinguisher exploding at will nor a cockpit fire.

The team revealed the smoke was caused by a problem with their battery-operated Kers system, which had short-circuited in the hot and humid conditions enveloping the track.

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Kers, a system which uses energy recovered from braking to provide extra power, is optional in 2009 and has been fitted by four teams - Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Renault.

Defending constructors' champions Ferrari are understood to have had a few teething problems with Kers, experiencing issues during winter testing in Bahrain and Barcelona.

In Ferrari's final winter test in Barcelona, Raikkonen had to abandon his car with a similar problem to the one he experienced in Malaysia.

The team also appeared to call the Finn back to the pits earlier than usual in the second session - although he had already done enough to top the timesheets ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa.

Ferrari said there were no problems with the Kers device in the second session and, despite the glitch, claimed they still plan to run Kers in both Raikkonen and Massa's cars for the rest of the weekend.

Raikkonen insists the energy recovery system is not dangerous because the device is protected by both a safe box and covering in his Ferrari F60.

One thing is for sure, Ferrari's pit mechanics will make sure they have their rubber gloves and wellies at the ready for the rest of the weekend.


  • 1. At 4:32pm on 03 Apr 2009, Andrew wrote:

    What is in those batteries? I certainly wouldn't want to be inhaling that vapour!!

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  • 2. At 6:42pm on 03 Apr 2009, Jamie_k wrote:

    seems reliabaility is going to be one of the main targets for ferrari ... the should have the pace .. and if they incorporate the new diffuser when it clears with the FIA i strongly believe ferrari will be back on top!

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  • 3. At 8:05pm on 03 Apr 2009, Ironbutterflyrusted wrote:

    I am not happy with the frequency that this energy can be released...I think the A1GP structure of a predetermined amount, eight I think, should be incorperated...and obviously all cars should be fitted with the system.

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  • 4. At 08:49am on 04 Apr 2009, Astrandi wrote:

    Agree with traveltavern... Noxious vapours in the cockpit at 200mph; that's a big shunt waiting to happen.

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  • 5. At 1:41pm on 04 Apr 2009, CTP wrote:

    Agreed with Ironbutterflyrusted - I liked the old Champ Car "Power to pass" system, which they had for a total of like 45s during the race. How much they had left to use was published on screen.

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  • 6. At 06:50am on 05 Apr 2009, seisteve wrote:

    For me F1 is about the great mix of technical, strategy and Drivers. Having the choice of Kers y/n, Tyre choice, fuel choice (A real looser for next year), design interpretation etc. is what Makes F1 Great. No body would ever find out how good Jensen was as a driver until all of the above worked well... this is what makes F1 awesome and the only Motorsport that provides interest and news throughout the year.

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  • 7. At 2:14pm on 18 May 2009, ferrari2009 wrote:

    i hope that they do allow refuelling next year.

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