Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013

Vettel plays down impact of KERS failure

2013 Japanese Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Sebastian Vettel declined to say he would have been on pole position for the Japanese Grand Prix had it not been for his KERS failing.

During qualifying Vettel had a recurrence of the KERS problem which also cost him time in final practice, and ended up second on the grid behind team mate Mark Webber.

“Obviously we had a problem this morning but I don’t think that made a difference,” said Vettel. “In terms of finding the rhythm I think we’ve done plenty of laps around this track.”

Vettel congratulated Webber on his pole position and added: “We did have an issue in qualifying but I’m not a big fan of ‘without this, with this, if this…'”

“It’s always an unknown and as a fact we are P2 so happy obviously with the result, front row for the team which is great.”

Team principal Christian Horner said the KERS fault would have cost Vettel four to five tenths of a second per lap. “It was unlucky for Sebastian,” he said.

“The KERS we had an issue with this morning, we changed as much as we could. In the first session it failed, in Q1, it came back in Q2. And then in Q3 it failed immediately so both Sebastian’s laps in Q3 were without the KERS so a great performance from him to get the car onto the front row.”

Vettel said his car felt “phenomenal” during qualifying. “The first sector is… I think you realise afterwards the car was fantastic through there and you don’t get many days the car feels like that where the car feels great and you can really push it to the limit. So enjoyed qualifying and happy with second place.”

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