Despite back-to-back wins in the first two races of the 2011 season, all is not completely well under the carbonfibre casing of the Red Bull Racing RB7, and drivers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were hampered by more issues with their KERS units during the Malaysian Grand Prix.
The team disabled the device for the Australian Grand Prix – a race which Vettel still dominated in a lights-to-flag victory – over concerns about its apparent unreliability, and the team encountered more problems at the next round at Sepang.
Mark Webber’s failed during qualifying and again on his warm-up lap, which saw the Australian swamped by other KERS-equipped rivals off the line, finishing the opening lap in tenth place after starting third. That he managed to recover to a fine fourth spoke as much as Webber’s grit as it did about the overall competitiveness of the car, even without KERS.
During the race, Vettel had to turn his KERS off as a precaution during the race, and was regularly having to adjust his brake balance onboard the RB7, given the system uses stored braking energy to provide an extra power boost.
“For safety reasons we did not run it for part of the race on Sebastian’s car,” confirmed Red Bull’s chief advisor, Helmut Marko, on the team’s website.
“It was a bit annoying because I was constantly pressing buttons,” Vettel added in a quote reported by Auto Motor und Sport.
But when asked about the specifics of the issue, both Vettel and Webber remained tight-lipped.
“I’m not allowed to [tell you],” Vettel said when asked about his KERS failure.
“Sorry, you’ll have to ask the engineers,” was Webber’s crisp reply.
[Original image via LAT]