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McLaren Snags First F1 KERS Win; Custom A123Systems Cells with More Than 20,000 W/kg

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 team scored the first win for a KERS-equipped car at the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix.

According to the McLaren synopsis, driver Lewis Hamilton benefited from KERS to charge down to the first turn alongside Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. He out-braked Mark Webber to briefly hold second before losing traction at the exit and ceding the place back into Turn Two. Nonetheless, he kept up the pressure to pass the Australian around the outside of Turn Two five laps later. He immediately started to close the gap to leader Fernando Alonso, and took the lead on lap 12 when the Spaniard was the first to pit.

The KERS unit used by McLaren features custom lithium-ion power cells developed by A123Systems that offer more than 20,000 W/kg, according to Ric Fulop, one of A123Systems’s co-founders.



20,000 W/kg? Has A123System's been holding out on us?

Is this a battery that can only go 50 cycles, or the chemistry degrades in a few weeks, or for some obscure reason the manufacturing cost is $10K/KwHr?



It is talking about Power not energy density.

20kW/kg is great output but the energy density is probably not significant enough to use this battery for an EV. Micro-hybrids could probably benefit from such a powerful battery.


But I still think HealthyBreeze is kind of right:
this technology surely can only last for a few cycles and costs a fortune


Wow, I'm very surprised by this. I was sure that MacLaren was using a lithium-titanate chemistry, not an A123 lithium-iron-phosphate chemistry.

As far as I have seen previously, the LiFePO4 cells were limited to about 6 kW/kg, so 20 kW/kg is an absolute shocker (no pun intended). No wonder they've got the best KERS system on the grid.

Henry Gibson

I was hoping that it was using the Flydrid system. F1 KERS is energy but not power limted by rules. Perhaps steam could be used. ..HG..


Henry Gibson,

The 2009 rules place a 60kw maximum power limit on the cars.


The other teams are steamed, I think there were only two makers vehicles that succeeded to the final rounds.
McClaren found the spot but now the losers are complaining.

F1 felt that greening or softening their sport to be a good move. The proof of concept is there - pretty good for the first year.

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