21 June 2011
Red Bull KERS work will pay offer, insists team
Red bull Racing may trail in the KERS stakes, but it is doing all it can to perfect its radically different system.
Red Bull Racing is to persevere with its radical KERS strategy despite the energy recovery system having yet to run entirely trouble-free for Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.
Although Vettel has won five of the seven races held so far in 2011, neither he nor team-mate Webber have enjoyed a perfect weekend with the system, which has been altered from standard as the team attempted to package it into Adrian Newey's latest slimline F1 design. The size of the standard Magnetti Marelli unit has been reduced by RBR, already limiting its power, by the alterations have also had the knock-on effect of hindering reliability, with Webber, in particular, being affected at several races.
Red Bull was among the teams not to run KERS when it was first permitted by the F1 regulations in 2009 and, as such, is already playing catch-up on rivals such as Ferrari and McLaren, but chief designer Rob Marshall insists that there will be no deviating from the path it has chosen to follow with the technology.
"I'm still sure that we've done the right thing," he told Britain's Sun newspaper, "Once we get it to work, we'll be happy that we've made the right choices. We haven't made any wrong decisions."
Newey, ironically, holds a slightly different view, especially with the news that the FIA is to outlaw the use of blown diffusers - an area where RBR is superior to the majority of its rivals - from next month's British Grand Prix. The ban is expected to shake-up the order, with Vettel's run of pole positions likely to come under threat from teams that have struggled to match the RB7's current prowess but can count on more reliable KERS systems.
"[KERS] needs a lot of research, lots of development, [and] it is not really our forte," Newey admitted, "We are an aerodynamics and, sort of, chassis composite engineering group rather than a KERS group. With hindsight, [our KERS group was] probably a little bit too small."
Team boss Christian Horner, however, remains optimistic that Red Bull can claw back some of the advantage it expects to lose along with the blown diffuser by continuing to work on the recalcitrant KERS technology, even though it appears to have some way to go after Webber was left without the benefit of extra power during both qualifying and the race in Canada last weekend.
"It's still something we're working very hard on," he told GPWeek, "We're getting better with it and we've got fixes that are significant fixes coming for the next few grands prix. The fact that we're able to use the system throughout a grand prix is already progress from two months ago!"
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