Formula One is set for a dramatic change with the announcement today that a deal has been struck between two British engineering firms for the development of an energy recovering gearbox slated for introduction into F1 by 2009. The goal is to reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions by recovering energy wasted during braking, and is part of FIA president Max Moseley’s dream to make F1 more cost-efficient, road relevant and environmentally friendly.


The design work is being handled by transmission specialists Torotrak and Xtrac, who will be forming a partnership to develop the Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) first proposed by Moseley last month. The KERS is basically an efficient CVT gearbox joined to a flywheel that rotates when the cars undergo braking. The stored energy can then be used to boost acceleration for overtaking and cornering, and will work like the power-boost button seen in the A1GP.

This is just the first of a raft of new changes that are to be introduced into F1 by 2009. Some of the other proposed changes put forward by Moseley include downsizing the engines to 2.4L V8s or possibly 2.2L V6 powerplants, with rev limits set at just 10,000rpm. Sadly, it seems that the guys in charge of F1 are forgetting what it is that makes the races so interesting.