Rivals eye Red Bull's KERS, flex, dominance

By on Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mar.27 (GMM) On race day in Australia, the buzzword is 'mini-KERS'.

After it emerged that runaway pole sitter Sebastian Vettel nor Mark Webber used the energy-recovery system in qualifying, reports emerged that Red Bull's KERS is ultra-compact and light for use only at the start.

Vettel stirred the pot by joking he "couldn't find" his KERS button whilst dominating qualifying on Saturday.

"Never heard such a ridiculous story," said the FIA's Charlie Whiting at Albert Park on Sunday, according to Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary.

The BBC asked team boss Christian Horner if the RB7 has a mini-KERS.

"All I will tell you is our system is not the same as (the) others but it's at its most beneficial at the start," he said.

Webber told Spain's Marca newspaper that he "cannot reveal" the secret of Red Bull's KERS, and when asked if the system will be in use during the race, Horner answered: "You'll have to see on TV."

It is also obvious that the Red Bull's front wing - as in 2010 - is flexing, with a Williams official revealing Vettel is a staggering 17kph faster through one particular corner than the rest of the field.

"My car feels fantastic, so I can't even imagine what his (Vettel's) feels like," said McLaren's Lewis Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher, disappointed with Mercedes' pace in Australia, described Vettel's performance as "a wake-up call to everyone", while Niki Lauda told Speed Week that the title is as good as decided.

"The competition can't really expect to make up a gap like that," the blunt Austrian said.

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