Mike Stevens | Apr 5, 2011

Christian Horner is confident Mark Webber will be up to speed at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix.

Red Bull said the Australian's RB7 chassis would be stripped down and inspected with a fine-tooth comb after Webber struggled to keep up with runaway winner Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne.

Despite Helmut Marko saying in Australia that the chassis might be carrying a major flaw, it appears in fact that nothing significant has been found.

"He (Webber) and the team have been looking to understand that (performance) in the last week," team boss Horner told the BBC.

"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."

In an official preview, Webber said:

"We got a lot of information from the first race and we expect our car to be good in Malaysia -- I want to get some champagne and up on to the steps."

Meanwhile, Horner and Red Bull designer Adrian Newey have said they will decide whether to fit KERS to the RB7 in Malaysia after it is tested on Friday.

The team did not use the energy-recovery technology in Melbourne and McLaren driver Jenson Button suspects he knows why.

"I don't think they have a good system -- we gain between 3.5 and 5 tenths from our KERS but I think Red Bull only gain 1.5 and that's why they did not bother with it and the extra weight," he is quoted as saying by AFP.

(GMM)

 

Vettel-Hamilton Pairing 'Difficult' For Red Bull

Putting Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in the same team would be "difficult", Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has admitted.

Team advisor Helmut Marko last week reiginited speculation about McLaren driver Hamilton's future by admitting the 2008 world champion "must always be a topic" when considering a possible successor for Mark Webber.

"Our philosophy is to have the quickest drivers together in our team," he said. But Horner told the BBC that a Hamilton-Vettel combination could be a recipe for disaster.

"It's difficult to see how you could have two drivers of Lewis' and Sebastian's calibre under one roof. There tends to be fireworks as we saw with Fernando Alonso and Lewis (at McLaren)," he said.

The comments could be interpreted as Horner believing that 34-year-old Webber is not of the "calibre" of Hamilton or Vettel.

Asked if that is what he meant, Horner insisted: "Absolutely not. They (Vettel and Webber) are at different stages of their careers and they complement each other."

(GMM)

 

KERS 'Not Necessary' For Red Bull In Australia: Marko

Red Bull did not use KERS in Australia because it was "not necessary", the team's advisor Dr Helmut Marko has admitted.

Officially, the team said its decision to run without the energy-recovery technology to dominate in Melbourne was due to its system not being fully reliable.

But Marko told Auto Bild in Germany: "Just look at the problems the others have had with KERS. Why should we use it if it's not necessary?"

In Malaysia this weekend, KERS might be necessary, given the long run to the first corner and the other long straights at the Sepang circuit.

Red Bull tested KERS in Melbourne on Friday and those practice tests will be repeated this Friday.

"Having inspected all the components (after Australia) our confidence has grown," team boss Christian Horner told the BBC. "If it runs well on Friday in Malaysia it will make its race debut during the Malaysia weekend."

Marko said Red Bull's new relationship with Nissan's Infiniti brand could be useful as the team, which didn't use KERS in 2009, looks to introduce the technology.

"This (relationship) could be an advantage because (Infiniti) is a leader in the hybrid field," said the Austrian.

(GMM)

 

Ayrton Senna Film Brings Dennis To Tears

Ron Dennis admits that watching the acclaimed new feature documentary about Ayrton Senna was emotional.

"Yes, at certain points I cried," the long-time McLaren team boss, who presided over the great Brazilian's three world championships, told Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about 'Senna'.

"Some of the images touched me deeply," added Dennis. "We had a very close relationship, only fighting about contracts."

A strong focus of the film is Senna's intense rivalry with Alain Prost, but Dennis said he does not regret pitting the two against each other.

"If you try to win with only one driver, then the ability of the team to win suffers," he said. "What's clear is that despite the dispute, we won 15 of the 16 races in 1988."

Dennis admits he has also been similarly close to other McLaren drivers Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton, and said the relationship between the latter and Jenson Button is "harmonious".

"Martin Whitmarsh has a much easier time with the drivers than I did in my time," he smiled.

Meanwhile, by Corriere della Sera, Dennis was asked if he thinks Michael Schumacher's record of seven titles would be different had Senna not died in 1994.

"You could only answer that with a crystal ball," he said.

"When he went to Williams, the team was in trouble but he would have used his experience and won at least a fourth championship," Dennis told the newspaper.

(GMM)

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