Mike Stevens | Mar 28, 2011

Red Bull admitted it did not use KERS at any time on Saturday or Sunday after Sebastian Vettel stormed to victory in the Australian Grand Prix on the weekend.

Finally quashing rumours that the RB7 features a 'mini-KERS' system that is used only for grand prix starts, team boss Christian Horner said the energy-recovery systems in Vettel and Mark Webber's cars were actually removed altogether after Friday practice.

"KERS has advantages and disadvantages. We elected not to use it," the Briton told the BBC.

The news is eye-opening given Vettel's easy run from pole position to the first corner, with the KERS system in Lewis Hamilton's car not pushing the Briton to the front of the field.

"It didn't look like we needed it," Horner smiled.

"We ran it on Friday, but we felt it was a potential risk. It's quite a complicated technology and Adrian (Newey) being Adrian, he wouldn't compromise the aerodynamics of the car."

Hamilton finished the race in second place with a badly damaged floor, but McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh dismissed suggestions the car might not pass scrutineering.

"There's plenty of precedent of damaged cars. I wouldn't think it's a problem," he said.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso finished fourth, behind the impressive podium debutant Vitaly Petrov, who in the sister Renault R31 finished eleven places ahead of Nick Heidfeld.

British commentator Martin Brundle said Heidfeld's first race with Renault, in the seat of badly injured team regular Robert Kubica, was "embarrassing" for the veteran German.

Sauber's Sergio Perez defied expectations by changing his Pirelli tyres only once to finish seventh on debut, while Australian fans were disappointed to see Mark Webber only fifth.

"It's very unusual to see such a big difference between the guys (Vettel and Webber)," admitted Horner. "We need to have a very close look before Malaysia."

(GMM)

 

Webber Had Chassis Problem In Australia: Marko

Helmut Marko has suggested Mark Webber suffered with a chassis problem in Melbourne.

The Australian was almost nine tenths off dominant teammate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying, before finishing almost 40 seconds down in Sunday's 2011 season opener.

"Mark had some problems with the chassis," Red Bull's motor sport director Marko said on German television RTL.

"With him, neither the hard nor the soft tyres really worked. His tyre wear was also significantly greater than Sebastian's," he added.

 

In Webber's Words

“I wasn't quick today and it was the same in qualifying yesterday, so we need to understand the reason why. There wasn't much else I could do today. I lost the last position to Fernando (Alonso) during the pit stops and that was it really. It was very frustrating."

"Seb drove a good race, in terms of what the car can do, but it's not normal for me not to go and match the rhythm at the front. I should be able to stay with these guys, but today I finished a long way behind. It was a tough race and I was pushing as hard as I could, but I wasn't getting much back."

"To finish that far behind is not really usual, but let's stay cool; it’s the first race. I’m looking forward to going to Malaysia; I wish the race was tomorrow already."

"I was in a different race to Sebastian today, so we had to do different things. I was in trouble with the tyres much sooner than he was, so we need to have a look why.”

(GMM)

 

Results

1 Sebastian Vettel - RBR-Renault - Winner
2 Lewis Hamilton - McLaren-Mercedes - +22.2 secs
3 Vitaly Petrov - Renault - +30.5 secs
4 Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - +31.7 secs
5 Mark Webber - RBR-Renault - +38.1 secs
6 Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes - +54.3 secs
7 Sergio Perez - Sauber-Ferrari - +65.8 secs
8 Kamui Kobayashi - Sauber-Ferrari - +76.8 secs
9 Felipe Massa - Ferrari - +85.1 secs
10 Sebastien Buemi - STR-Ferrari - +1 Lap
11 Adrian Sutil - Force India-Mercedes - +1 Lap
12 Paul di Resta - Force India-Mercedes - +1 Lap
13 Jaime Alguersuari - STR-Ferrari - +1 Lap
14 Nick Heidfeld - Renault - +1 Lap
15 Jarno Trulli - Lotus-Renault - +2 Laps
16 Jerome d'Ambrosio - Virgin-Cosworth - +4 Laps
Ret - Timo Glock - Virgin-Cosworth - +9 Laps
Ret - Rubens Barrichello - Williams-Cosworth - +10 Lap
Ret - Nico Rosberg - Mercedes GP - +36 Laps
Ret - Heikki Kovalainen - Lotus-Renault - +39 Laps
Ret - Michael Schumacher - Mercedes GP - +39 Laps
Ret - Pastor Maldonado - Williams-Cosworth - +49 Laps

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