Date: 11th March 2011 at 11:43am
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While most things at Williams are looking positive going into the 2011 season, the problems with their KERS device has cast a shadow over their winter testing programme.

They have suffered a number of issues with the device throughout the testing sessions and have had to disconnected the system a lot of the time to prevent them from losing valuable track time.

On Thursday the team ran without the device, enabling Rubens Barrichello to complete 105 laps around the Barcelona track.

Lap time wise they look relatively strong, ranking fourth behind Sauber, Ferrari and Red Bull just 0.876 seconds off the pace of Sauber (0.545 seconds behind Ferrari and 0.171 seconds behind Red Bull).

When considering KERS can be worth around 0.1 to 0.4 seconds a lap when used correctly, its crucial that Williams can solve the problems that they are currently experiencing.

‘I know what part failed but I don’t know why.’ Williams technical director Sam Michael told Autosport Magazine.

The Williams team have narrowed the issue down to an electrical problem between the motor generator unit and the battery. That equipment has been sent back to the factory to find out what is causing the issue.

A frustrated Rubens added: ‘KERS seems to be zero problems one day and another day a hundred problems, and then you don’t know where it is. From what you read, I think people do have that sort of problem. It’s going to be a decision quite quickly on how we’re going to develop that.’

The team will now have to decide if they run their KERS device for the opening race of the season, or like many teams during the 2009 season, they opt to run without it.

They do appear to have good pace without it, so if they feel it is a gamble to run it, I’m sure for now they will be quite content to leave it disconnected, but obviously to fulfil this cars true potential they will need to resolve the KERS issues.

 

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