BMW has suspended testing of its ‘green’ F1 car after a mechanic was hospitalised by electric shock after touching it.
The car, a test hack based on last year’s BMW F1 machine, was giving F1’s Kinetic Energy Regeneration System its public debut at Jerez in Spain, with Christian Klien at the wheel. But the first mechanic who touched it after a three-lap ‘installation run’ received an electric shock and fell to the ground. He was later taken to hospital complaining of dizziness.
BMW has now called a halt to the tests of the system, which harnesses and stores energy during braking and offers it back to the driver during overtaking manoeuvres.
F1 teams are struggling to adapt the KERS principle to their traditionally compact, lightweight machines in time for its proposed introduction in 2009. Last week the Red Bull team had to evacuate its factory after a battery failed and caught fire.