Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has expressed his hope that Mark Webber’s poor Australian Grand Prix was a one-off, and that the Australian will bounce back to form at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
After it was suspected that chassis problems with Webber’s RB7 contender were the cause for the Queanbeyan-born driver’s struggles at Albert Park, the team confirmed it had stripped down the chassis and conducted a detailed inspection to uncover why Webber was so far off team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s pace.
It turns out that nothing of significance was discovered…
“He and the team have been looking to understand [his performance] in the last week,” Horner told the BBC in an interview.
“We think we’ve found a few pointers and I’m confident we’ll see him back up at the front in Malaysia next weekend.”
Meanwhile, Horner also confirmed that the team will make a final decision on whether or not it will run its – so far, seemingly problematic – KERS unit at Sepang after it is given a thorough work-over in Friday practice.
The team – secretly, at first – ran without the power-boosting device at the Australian Grand Prix amid concerns that it was not reliable enough to be used in race conditions.
But others, including McLaren’s Jenson Button, suspect that the real reason it’s not being run is that it simply isn’t delivering the performance benefits the team had hoped for.
“I don’t think they have a good system,” he is quoted by the AFP as saying.
“We gain between 0.35 and 0.5 [seconds per lap] from our KERS but I think Red Bull only gain 0.15 [seconds] and that’s why they did not bother with it and the extra weight.”
[Image via The Cahier Archive]