Overtakingâ€™s a Piece of Cake â€“ Klien
BMW have been burning the midnight oil at their development centres for the 2009 season. Christian Klien is one of those drivers to have worked up a sweat behind the wheels while testing the new 2009-spec aerodynamics package for the German team. The Austrian is of the view that the changes that are being brought on are extremely good for the racing scenario, making things more exciting for the fans.
FIA regulations for the front and rear wing have been changed to provide what is now, a more exciting package. A low, wide front wing is now ably supported by a tall, narrow rear wing and Klien, who has been the main test-driver for BMW in the winter tests, believes that these changes have been in the right direction.
“It looks like the new aero regulations will bring more overtaking,” said Klien. “We have noticed that you can follow our car more closely.
“This is mainly down to larger front wing we have now which brings a lot of stability to the front axle. In addition to that, the smaller rear wing should significantly reduce the dirty air when you follow another car.”
However, there are a few problems that might accompany the new package as well. The new width on the front wing makes the front end of the car quite susceptible to damage.
“One of the downsides is the start of the race,” he added. “With these massive shovels on the noses we may well see a few clipped front wings in the first corners.”
Klien has also had access to the KERS system which has been used to harness the wasted energy from braking and use it to provide added power to the driver in the form of a boost button that’s available on the steering wheel.
“You must press the boost button as early in the corner as possible to have an advantage on the straight,” he explained. “I feel that you will probably have to start the procedure when you are, for example, in third gear in the middle of the corner. That is when those 60 kilowatts come in immediately, so it does require a little extra attention from the driver.”
There will be, it is said, a certain amount of disadvantage for drivers who are slightly heavier as they would have to deal with the added KERS system weight as well as the reduced ballast to adjust the car’s weight distribution. Klien, however, doesn’t think that it will be such a great issue.
“There is a small advantage for lighter drivers,” he said. “10 kilos less of body weight gives you 10 kilos more to play with your weight balance. But it does not have a dramatic effect. As much as I myself would love to have an edge over bigger drivers, I doubt KERS will be the end of the story for them. The difference is quite marginal.”
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