Horner reveals Red Bull never used KERS

2011 Australian Grand Prix

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2011

Christian Horner admitted Red Bull did not use KERS on their car during the Australian Grand Prix.

Horner told the BBC the team tested KERS on Friday but decided not to race it due to concerns over its reliability.

The team did not admit they’d switched it off as they were concerned about being overtaken at the start of the race.

However Sebastian Vettel got away cleanly and held his lead.

However it meant that later in the race Mark Webber was unable to use KERS while trying to pass Fernando Alonso.

2011 Australian Grand Prix


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67 comments on Horner reveals Red Bull never used KERS

  1. RIISE (@riise) said on 27th March 2011, 8:59

    So obviously the graphic shown for all cars are generic, it’s not surprising they weren’t running it really.

  2. Himmat S. said on 27th March 2011, 8:59

    I don’t think there’s a problem with reliability there. There’s just some hanky-panky going on there. I’m certain about it.

    • ronan197 said on 27th March 2011, 20:06

      I agree. maybe they could they gain a weight advantage for opting to not put the equipment on the car

  3. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th March 2011, 9:00

    Lack of KERS would have enabled them to optimise the centre of gravity better, especially as Seb is quite light. They’ll need it in Sepang though, those straights are too long and there is less demand on mechanical grip.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 27th March 2011, 9:44

      I think they did do a lot of work to get the car perfect without it.

      From what Horner said, its clear their KERS is not one package but strewn all over the car, just like some teams had in 2009. I expect they will bring it to races like Sepang, but it is bound to be a bit compromised.

    • Ral (@ral) said on 27th March 2011, 16:30

      David Coulthard was saying it’s not that simple. The teams agreed to 1% weight distribution difference for this year, so just taking out KERS really would not make that much of a difference.

      Apparently Newey just did not want to compromise the shape of the car to package it though and with the shape they have, they are having problems getting it integrated and working properly. that might be cooling, or charging of the unit itself, but it could also be just the brake balancing or cooling that they’re not happy with.

      • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 27th March 2011, 23:53

        I’m making a difference between weight distribution and centre of gravity, especially if Red Bull’s KERS is wrapped around the other stuff instead of being in a box under the engine.

      • David BR said on 28th March 2011, 0:11

        The idea that Newey’s refusal to compromise design rings truer to me than the conspiracy theories. They just haven’t managed to sort it out yet. It makes little sense to ditch an important element for defending and passing on track when the season is still just starting – if McLaren do develop the car to match RBR, they’ll need everything possible in the title fight. I found it bizarre that anyone thought a ‘mini-KERS’ used only off the grid was outsmarting their rivals – turns out it was probably a rumour RBR started to keep everyone else off the scent.

  4. Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th March 2011, 9:01

    No KERS, Faster car, Another 2009? Obviously Webber disadvantaged from absence of KERS(of course slow pit stop hurts much more), but if Vettel could go pole to win again and again, Why do they need KERS?

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 27th March 2011, 9:06

      and it seems like there’s flexible wing controversy once again, according to Scarbs. We really need onboard sensor to end this controversy.

      • Ral (@ral) said on 27th March 2011, 16:27

        I’ve never understood why that is a controversy in the first place. The rules are very clear: there is to be no flex. There is, very clearly visible, a lot of flexing. Hence, whatever the tests say, the bloody wings are illegal. What is the problem just coming out and saying that?

        Load tests my tiny hiney, everyone can see the wings are flexing. Period, end of story. Get a new wing.

        • Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 27th March 2011, 16:37

          We’ve been through this again and again. The rules are very clear and they DO NOT say no flex: they say no more than a certain amount of flex under a specified load. There is no such thing as no flex, every team uses wings that flex to some degree. The precedents on there being no such thing as zero degrees of movement are quite clearly established from previous FIA hearings. Which is why they’re legal and no teams are protesting any more. Don’t get on your high horse about something you haven’t even checked.

        • Mopatop (@mopatop) said on 29th March 2011, 14:18

          It’s impossible to make wings that do not flex at all – it’s in the nature of the material. All wings flex a little bit. How much is too much? That is defined in the rules and RBR’s wing flexes less than that.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 27th March 2011, 10:05

      Imagine if they had KERS: pole with 3 seconds’ margin.

  5. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 27th March 2011, 9:01

    I didn’t think it weight as much as 30kg to be honest but with that in mind, not running it makes sense.

    Wonder if FOTA will have anything to say about it.

  6. summers (@summers) said on 27th March 2011, 9:04

    I am afraid of Red Bull with KERS…

    • Calum (@calum) said on 27th March 2011, 9:06

      I’m not – they simply won’t use it and if they do it will be comprimised in order t0 fit it into the car.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 27th March 2011, 9:11

        No it will make them even faster.. the car designed with KERS built in so no compromise in running it. They took if off because it was a reliability risk they didn’t need to take with there present performance

        • Geordie_Porker said on 27th March 2011, 9:36

          BBT: Horner’s comment was that Newey wouldn’t compromise the aero to fit KERS, so they have clearly re-designed KERS to fit the car – so there is a reliability concern because of the re-packaging. The question is whether they can solve the reliability or whether they will have to accept a compromise on the aero…

          Will be interesting to see how this develops!

  7. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 27th March 2011, 9:06

    I think they cannot just not run it, because of FOTA agreements. Resource Restriction is also a FOTA agreement isn’t it?

    So reliability issues or ‘issues’ this weekend had a positive effect.

    I hope I’ll get some more insight in KERS vs braking. Alonso got the message to charge 2 points more, so apparantly Ferrari can play with charging vs braking, I guess.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 27th March 2011, 10:11

      Anyone who doesn’t want to run KERS is free to do so, be it RBR,Lotus,Virgin or HRT. There was agreement not to run it in 2010, there’s no agreement of any kind in 2011.

  8. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 27th March 2011, 9:15

    Perhaps they took off the only thing they couldn’t get right in the making of the car?

    It’s a real possibility that RBR would have been slower with KERS on, they gave 0.5s in the last sector in which the other teams barely could use KERS.

  9. Gaston (@golarrazabal) said on 27th March 2011, 9:16

    Hah, I find it funny how speculation got crazy after Horner said that “our KERS is different from everyone else’s” and now it was revealed that they just didn’t race it at all.

    I quite like these mind games, heh.

  10. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 27th March 2011, 9:19

    They could have done with it for Webber on a couple of occasions but overall it was a good decision. They obviously trusted Vettel’s pace, and once he had pole there was a much lesser chance of unreliability and losing the race.

  11. pking008 said on 27th March 2011, 9:20

    Redbull seems always up to some Hanky Panky. I am beginning to believe they might not be as innocent as they present themselves afterall

    • Geordie_Porker said on 27th March 2011, 10:58

      As a diehard Mclaren fan, I would love for you to be right, but sadly Newey is simply a genius – and I would hardly call omitting KERS ‘Hanky Panky’ – if they can find 0.3s through better aero, then fair play to them (said through gritted teeth! ;) )

  12. hawkfist said on 27th March 2011, 9:21

    From what I remember of the KERS graphics last time it was introduced, if a car didn’t have KERS then it didn’t show a battery on the on-screen “HUD” they showed. Did anyone see any of the other teams who we know have come out and said they aren’t running KERS to verify if it is just a generic graphic for all this time around?

    Still a theory going around that the start-only system was actually on the car, but there was questions about its legality, since if the batteries are charged in the garage then it’s not gained under braking, the energy isn’t actually being recovered (a rather crucial part of an Energy Recovery System).

    Either way, absolutely barnstorming drive by Vettel again. Didn’t faff about with Button. Would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Hamilton had got a better start/his floor hadn’t snapped, but Vettel did everything he needed to do.

    Wonder if the extra weight Webber carries is starting to affect the weight distribution more than when they were allowed to play around with ballast more?

    • James said on 27th March 2011, 10:40

      The graphic will of course be generic – it’s under the control of the broadcaster, not the teams. However, when a team announces they won’t be using KERS, it’s simple to substitute a “no battery” icon when viewing on board with those cars.

      Red Bull didn’t make such an announcement so there was no reason to change the graphic.

      Horner clearly stated that Adrian Newey vetoed any change to his aero design to accommodate the KERS system, so it seems perfectly reasonable that they are still trying to package things properly.

      No wonder Hamilton could just about keep pace with Vettel! When Red Bull do race with it, they’ll either lap everyone or break down…

  13. Calum (@calum) said on 27th March 2011, 9:22

    Does this count as an ‘egg on face’ moment I predicted for Mclaren and Ferrari when one of the keys to RedBull’s pace is so simple and obvious – of ourse it’s differant – it’s not even there!

    • LuvinF1 said on 27th March 2011, 19:54

      Yes, Calum. Of course you can say you have egg on your face. You can say you have egg on your face any time you want. I don’t think it is restricted.

  14. BBT (@bbt) said on 27th March 2011, 9:29

    They will use it when there is less reliability risk.

  15. Jess said on 27th March 2011, 9:34

    So, Looks like i did not miss much of a race.

    • LuvinF1 said on 27th March 2011, 20:10

      Had Red Bull come in 1-2, Ferrari 3-4, and Mercedes 5-6, I would have said you were correct. But Petrov managed a 3rd, the Saubers were a big surprise until their DQ, the McLaren duo managed a good start to the season despite a horrendous testing effort, Rubens conducted a demolition derby exhibition, and we got to see DRS vs. KERS in action. Not bad for a “did not miss much of a race” race.

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