Force India is almost certain not to run KERS this season, despite originally having hoped to run the energy recovery system as early as the German Grand Prix in July. The outfit had the option to run the McLaren-Mercedes KERS system as part of its technical partnership deal with the team, but with the latest upgrade package fitted it can no longer accommodate it.
Team COO Simon Roberts explained that the cost of running the system was also part of the reasoning behind abandoning plans to use KERS.
"We had planned and designed the car to run with KERS, and although up until recently we said we would like to keep the option open, internally we decided the cost for a team like ours was too much," said Roberts. Running it was fine, it's just all of the extra equipment you can buy. So we made a strategic decision.
"The Valencia package actually means that we can't use KERS now. We can always go back though because the Silverstone bodywork can take KERS. We'll look at it on a race-by-race-basis."
Roberts believes that Kimi Raikkonen's win at Spa –the second in three races for a KERS car following Lewis Hamiton's Hungarian Grand Prix victory – does not mean that the agreement among the Formula 1 Teams' Association (FOTA) members not to use it next year should necessarily be revisited.
"It helped Kimi to overtake at Spa, but he didn't pull away," said Roberts. "It's about the way you balance your car. There are advantages for KERS, at some tracks more than others, and in qualifying it helps a lot. But the grid has not all moved in one direction."