Vettel reveals KERS and radio problems

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

Sebastian Vettel described a series of problems during the Chinese Grand Prix, beginning with a poor start:

“The start was not the best we’ve had this year. On top of that it seems, for some reason, the left hand side here is worse than the right-hand side. Plus the fact that you turn right doesn’t really help.

“But it was not a one hundred percent good start so I lost also a position to Lewis who started behind me.

“Then it was about being patient. I think we treated our tyres better in the first stint. We could have stayed out but there’s no point in doing that because you try to obviously pit earlier.

“So I came to the box and obviously afterwards came out first which was good, but I was quite surprised Jenson in front of me went into my garage. I just hoped for him to carry on – we had something similar two years ago with the Toro Rosso. I don’t know what attracts people to stop in our garage but fortunately it had no effect, the guys kept their heads cool.

“We kept going and we came out in the lead. And then I think we probably tried too hard staying on two stops so the middle stint ideally should have been a bit longer.

“Surely in the end you find yourself out there on the hard tyre, I saw Lewis coming closer and closer, and there was no point really. I tried to defend as much as I can without losing too much time to the guys behind. He found his way past easily.

“It was a difficult race for us. As I said we did a couple of mistakes, on top of that we had some problems but still we finished second so I’m very happy with that.

“First of all, congratulations to Lewis and McLaren, they did a very good job and it shows.”

Vettel added he had a problem with his radio and Kinetic Energy Recovery System during the race:

“It didn’t make it easier because usually you exchange information: how the tyres are, what other other guys do, which tyres they’re on. So I asked a lot of questions but didn’t get any answers.

“On top of that – I don’t know how much of that was shown – we had some problems with KERS in the race. As I said, it wasn’t a trouble-free race.”

2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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41 comments on Vettel reveals KERS and radio problems

  1. adaptalis (@adaptalis) said on 17th April 2011, 11:15

    Will Redbull fix this KERS issue before Turkey?

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th April 2011, 11:18

      I hope they don’t :P

      • Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 17th April 2011, 11:27

        I don’t think they will. Their KERS problem is intermittent, this indicates it’s caused by the batteries over heating. This means that it’s the size and placement of the KERS rads thats the problem. As we know Adrian Newey is very reluctant to sacrifice the design of that part of the car to house bigger rads. I think this may prove ongoing as an issue for Red Bull and they may have underestimated the importance of it in the big picture.

        • RIISE (@riise) said on 17th April 2011, 12:11

          The thing is with KERS I didn’t understand why you have to have ballast in place if you don’t want to use it. Surely having a mix of teams with and without KERS would promote more overtaking.

          • Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 17th April 2011, 12:35

            It’s an incentive from FIA in their bid to make F1 more eco-environemntal!! I think given the choice most would choose not to run it to save 30kg. But the rules are clear and Red Bull may have been niaive to not realise it’s impact.

          • unnnococooc said on 17th April 2011, 12:50

            Given that the fuel for a lap is 1 tenth extra per lap and I’m pretty sure that KERS is more than 4 times the fuel. 30kg for KERS /4 = 7.5kg, and I believe fuel is considerably less than that.

            Basically, why would you take KERS if you were slower per lap and it sometimes didn’t work rather than just go faster guarenteed

          • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th April 2011, 21:21

            To be honest I thought you could weight save without it. Kinda forces the teams to use it really. However, RBR don’t really suffer without it. What they do suffer with though is trying to use it and it failing.

        • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th April 2011, 17:31

          And we heard both Horner and Newey say, that KERS was going to take a while as they do not put that much effort in it, focussing on aero development instead.

          • F1Yankee (@f1yankee) said on 18th April 2011, 0:17

            well, they were working on it 2 years ago when they had a fire. you bet ferrari, renault and mclaren/merc continued work on it.

  2. Osvaldas31 (@osvaldas31) said on 17th April 2011, 11:17

    Button is clearly aiming for a seat at Red Bull :D

  3. dennis (@dennis) said on 17th April 2011, 11:20

    Still second with almost no radio and again KERS problems.
    Good step towards the championchip for him.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 17th April 2011, 11:21

    I’d like to get this in before we get comments about it:

    If your car is good enough to be the fastest on the grid, it’s also good enough for it to break and cost you. Last year we had a lot of talk about “if Vettel hadn’t had retirements” etc. as if they were unnatural events. Not too many years ago unreliability was as common as tyre degradation, it’s all a part of F1.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th April 2011, 11:23

      Yeah, but if we have almost equal cars from top teams it would be much better. no complain. just excitement.

    • dennis (@dennis) said on 17th April 2011, 11:26

      They aren’t as natural as they were before. And with now 25 points to lose in the worst case scenario, a technical problem can have a much bigger impact than years before.

      • unnnococooc said on 17th April 2011, 13:01

        Not really.. because a win is 100% of the points still and a DNF is still 0% of the points.

        If two drivers win 1 race and DNF the other, then despite the change in point scoring they will both be equal.

        And if the results were
        RACE 1: 1st (Driver 1) 4th (driver 2)
        RACE 2: DNF (D1) 4th (d2)

        Then under the older system it wouldbe
        D1 10 points (100% + 0%)
        d2 10 points (50% + 50%)

        And under the new system
        D1 25 points (100% + 0%)
        d2 24 points (~50% + ~50%)

        THe only differnce is 4%. I wouldn’t call that a major difference, under the old system, 4% of the possibly points in a race were 0.4 points which is less than half of the last points paying position.

        Tech problems aren’t bigger problems, they are still the same and if you win and then retire you will still be just as far ahead approx, or technically slightly further ahead than two 4ths than before.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th April 2011, 17:33

      Especially as the KERS problems are inherent in the aggressive aero design of the car. So its just a bit of a weakness of their package, while downforce is its biggest bonus.

      McLaren probably has the best KERS, but the rest of their car is a tad behind the Red Bull. Different approaches make it interesting.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 17th April 2011, 11:26

    They had so many problems still 2nd and 3rd. RB7 is just outstanding.

  6. Mads (@mads) said on 17th April 2011, 11:42

    Good performance by Red Bull, even though they cocked up with Webbers qualifying and then with Vettels strategy they still managed a double podium and a good lead in both championships. They surely will be hard to catch for the others. Especially if they get KERS to work properly.

  7. Jared404 (@jared404) said on 17th April 2011, 11:55

    What was Webber doing congratulating Lewis for beating Seb?

  8. Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th April 2011, 12:10

    I just hope KERS can trouble Red Bull for the entire season, its the only chance we have for a close championship this year.

    • xtophe (@xtophe) said on 17th April 2011, 16:30

      It wasn’t KERS however that kept SV from winning, but a strategic decision gone wrong in the closing laps. RBR have almost done 3 races without KERS (none in Australia, problems in Malaysia on both cars, problems in China on both cars).

      Obviously it’s some form of disadvantage, but they’ve just rounded up two races on tracks with huge straights, finishing respectively 1st-4th and 2nd-3rd.

      • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th April 2011, 19:41

        I agree. But we cant really hope for bad strategic decisions in every race. Although KERS isn’t all that important right now, if Mclaren and Ferrari catch up to Red Bull performance wise, KERS could be a huge differentiating factor.

        • xtophe (@xtophe) said on 17th April 2011, 22:27

          Good point. A lot will depend on how fast the other teams can catch up the RB7 in terms of downforce. The longer RBR can keep an advantage, the more time they will have to fix their KERS.

  9. Fixy (@fixy) said on 17th April 2011, 17:23

    And then I think we probably tried too hard staying on two stops so the middle stint ideally should have been a bit longer.

    Yes, that’s it. The strategy was looking like a three-stop one, with 12 laps per stint, then the last one (or the second one in Vettel’s case) was much longer, and this caused bad tyres and bad lap times.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th April 2011, 17:35

      Yep, the tyres looked good enough to make a 2 stopper work and RB deemed Vettel was far enough ahead to do it.

      But in the end the 3 stopper worked better today.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 17th April 2011, 20:02

        I had a bad feeling about the 2 stopper for Vettel pretty early on. It didn’t seem like it was going to work. They almost proved me wrong though.

        • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 17th April 2011, 21:18

          It was only Hamilton who made the 3 stopper work though.

          Well and Webber, but he was on a completely different approach.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th April 2011, 21:14

    The KERS problem is new to me, however we all knew the radio was down.

    Vettel has alot to be proud of today and the other teams should take note. It took him 52 laps to lose that position on a 2 stop strategy.

  11. phildick (@phildick) said on 18th April 2011, 13:35

    I still wonder if they really have KERS. Has anyone seen on the TV graphics that they really used it this year (in races)?

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 19th April 2011, 5:08

    Red Bull need to work on KERS by Turkey. I think all teams now wants to be number 1 & want the best machine that’s what attracts all to your garage.

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