WIth the rules undergoing a pretty major reworking next year, could this be BMW’s really big chance at being up there competing with the big boys consistently and on merit - and perhaps beating them to be the best of the lot?

They have done incredibly well so far this season so it’s not outwith the realms of possibility that this will continue and they could still be in with a shout at the title come November, but this is by no means a certainty.

Next year sees F1 try to do it’s bit for the environment by introducing KERS (Kinteic Energy Recovery Systems) which basically means the cars will try to reduce “wasted” energy as much as possible, thereby reusing this energy in order to make them faster and more efficient.

As far as I can understand from what’s been said about the subject so far, the KERS systems will be made by an independant company and the various F1 teams will then have the job of integrating this into their design.

This will involve a lot of work for all the teams concerned, but I’m hoping that BMW will have a bit of a headstart as they have already introduced a lot of this type of equipment on their road cars.  Although it won’t be exactly the same, I presume a lot of the thinking behind it will hopefully be similar enough to allow them to keep ahead of their two main rivals, Ferrari and McLaren.

After all I’m pretty certain neither McLaren’s roadcar, the SLR, or any of the current Ferrari roadcars feature this type of innovation.  BMW are certainly the main manufacturer I can think of who are promoting themselves as being at the forefront of this technology, so even McLaren’s engine partner Mercedes may not be able to help out greatly.

The BMW 118d has recently been announced as the winner of the World Green Car of The Year.  Although I’ve known about their progress in this department, I still expected BMW to lose out to other electric or hybrid models such as the Toyota Prius when vying for awards like this. Of course Toyota also have vast experience in this field, and have started 2008 much brighter in F1 than most expected, so they too may be a force to be reckoned with next year - but I would put my money on BMW before I put it on the Japanese manufacturer!

On their roadcars, BMW’s EfficientDynamics program incorporates many features which improve the efficiency of their cars but the main one which may help as far as their F1 challenge is concerned is Brake Energy Regeneration.  Effectively the energy normally lost while braking, such as heat energy, is stored instead and used to charge the battery rather than doing the charging constantly and drawing power from the engine to do so.

Whether this will indeed be of benefit to BMW in F1 next year remains to be seen, it was just something that occurred to me today.  It’s been good to have a three way fight in the Constructors Championship as it is historically normally a two horse race - hopefully this may be the catalyst to BMW being able to cement it’s place at the top of the standings for years to come.