In a passing zone you can push a button and the rear wing splits open to reduce drag and supposedly create more top speed. I think someone said 10 to 12 mph. When you apply the brake, the wing closes back to it's solid state and the top speed edge goes away. When used in conjunction with KERS you should be able to rocket passed your competition when in a passing zone. If I'm interpreting what I saw correctly, they had painted sections of the track yellow to designate areas where you could use KERS or the wing.
actually you can use kers anytime. but only a designated "amount" per lap. it automatically refreshes when you go by the start finish each lap. red Bull did not use kers all weekend, which should scare the bejesus out of the competition.
the rear wing causes downforce on the rear wheels by nature of the air flowing over it pushing it down. this helps in cornering. it hurts in straight line speed. except for the dirty air it creates for the guy behind you, but that is another story. When they flip up the upper section, it "dumps" a certain amount of air pressure. Basically the amount created by the upper section which goes flat, therefore having little aero effect. This should make the car more "slippery" and increase top speed on the straight. You are allowed to use it basically from the apex of the last turn onto the straight, till the breaking zone of the first corner. But only if you are within 1 second of the car in front of you when you enter a designated zone just before the last turn. These are marked on the track with a line. the car in front can not use it. It has appeared to have little effect on similarly performing cars in the first race. This could change from track to track. There is a button on the steering wheel to flip it up and it automatically flips down when you touch the brake. To complicate matters further, i believe you can use the rear wing adjustment anytime during qualifying.
Basic explanation is it works like a prius. Unlike a prius, electricity can only be generated under braking, the motor cannot help. the kers system generates electricity from a generator attached to the drive train (trans?) under breaking so it is not taking away power when accelerating. alot like your alternator does all the time. the electricity is stored in a battery. at the press of a button, an electric motor attached to the front of the crankshaft turns on by battery power and adds about 80hp to the motors hp. Drivers are allowed to use kers for a limited amount of time each lap, they can use 400kj of electricity or about 6 seconds. It is refreshed every time they pass the start/finish line. You do not have to run kers, it is optional. It has it's downsides such as weight distribution for the equipment and changing the front/rear brake bias because of drag on the drive train under braking.
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