F1 »

Has Red Bull found KERS twist?

The F1 paddock is alive with speculation that Red Bull Racing may be using a unique take on the KERS rules to keep one step ahead of the pack.
Red Bull Racing's creative thinking may again lead it into a storm of controversy after the paddock rumour mill was sent into overdrive by suggestions that neither Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber used KERS during their qualifying run.

While use of the system is optional, with some teams not being in a position to incorporate it in their 2011 designs and those drivers with it operating the system as and when they see fit, Red Bull is rumoured to have come up with an idea all of its own that sees a limited version of the technology employed to give it an advantage.

With the Adrian Newey-designed RB7 already proving to be a rapid replacement for the double championship winning RB6, the grapevine is suggesting that the team has opted to run a small enough KERS system to give it an edge at the very start of the race, without carrying the additional weight of a full system for the entire event. While McLaren revealed that Lewis Hamilton was denied assistance by a broken KERS unit during qualifying in Melbourne, both polewinner Vettel and third-placed Webber confirmed that they had not run the technology at all during the session, heightening speculation that the RB7 did not feature the same sort of system as its rivals.

Both SpeedTV and the BBC carry similar theories, suggesting that, with both RBR drivers likely to come under threat from KERS-equipped cars at the start of the race, the RB7 has to have something its drivers can deploy to protect their position, but also confirming the belief that that is the extent of their KERS capability.

A system that only provides a power boost at the start would not require the additional means of recharging throughout the race, saving a substantial amount of unwanted weight. As all cars running KERS go to the grid with the system fully charged, and don't require the means of storing power on the formation lap, it is entirely possible that Red Bull has gone down that route, happy that the RB7 will be able to hold its own once the race is underway. With parc ferme rules in effect between qualifying and the race, however, it could be a risky strategy should Vettel and Webber suffer problems in qualifying and find themselves mid-grid.

"All I will tell you is our system is not the same as others', but it's at its most beneficial at the start," RBR team principal Christian Horner admitted to the BBC, while others in the pit-lane believe the speculation to be correct and reveal that they are already working on similar ideas.

Running without a full-time KERS system not only saves on weight and eases both cooling and potential tyre wear issues, it also gives the drivers one less thing to worry about in the cockpit - something that Webber has been quite vocal about in the run-up to the new season.

After the 'adjustable ride height' and 'flexing' controversies that surrounded the team last season, the latest suggestions of Red Bull ingenuity could again bring it into conflict with its rivals, who could claim that the supposedly 'energy-saving' technology isn't being used as intended by the rulemakers.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
26.03.2011- Qualifying, Mark Webber (AUS), Red Bull Racing, RB7 leads Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11
26.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.03.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 pole position
26.03.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
26.03.2011- Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel in the F2012 during a day testing at Fiorano
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 running sensor equipment on the rear wing.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 running sensor equipment on the rear wing.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10.
26.11.2014.

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Fiat Bater - Unregistered

March 27, 2011 7:16 AM

OK so it's not currently against the regulations but isn't it supposed to be a Kinetic Energy RECOVERY System - pre-charged energy hasn't been recovered from race laps or installation lap. You might as well use a big wound-up spring and save weight and money. I would be "asking for clarification" with a hope to getting KERS systems having to be discharged on the grid. Having said all this it is unlikely that min-KERS is why Vettel is so quick.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.