According to some cynics in the Melbourne paddock, Saturday's qualifying result proved that KERS is set to fade even before it becomes fashionable in formula one.

According to some cynics in the Melbourne paddock, Saturday's qualifying result proved that KERS is set to fade even before it becomes fashionable in formula one.

Only seven of the twenty cars are tackling the 2009 season opener with the newly allowed braking energy re-use technology, following concerns the weight implications could prevail over the power boost.

Indeed, the highest KERS runner is Ferrari's Felipe Massa in seventh.

Nick Heidfeld, meanwhile - using KERS (and a heavy fuel load) - qualified seven places behind his non-KERS BMW teammate Robert Kubica, while the McLarens and Renaults languished in the bottom half of the grid.

The KERS clan might be looking forward to making up places on the race start, but it is suspected that any real benefit will have to wait for circuits with longer straights.

"Maybe when we get to a circuit like Malaysia we will see that they have a little bit more of an advantage than the cars not running KERS," said pole sitter Jenson Button, "but we obviously have to wait and see."

 

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