Find out more about our subscriptions

Red Bull 'must have' KERS for Sepang

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne 2011Red Bull Racing boss Christian Horner thinks his team will need to get its KERS up and running in the Malaysian Grand Prix if it wants to maintain its winning start to the season.

Reliability issues with its hybrid power system in practice for the Australian Grand Prix resulted in the team electing to disengage it for the remainder of the weekend - although its absence made little difference to the strong speed of the car.

With a short run from the start of the Albert Park grid to the first corner, pole position man Sebastian Vettel was able to hold onto his lead even without a KERS boost and he proved dominant throughout the race to take his first win of the season.

But with there being much longer straights at the next race in Malaysia, Horner is well aware that his outfit may be put on the back foot if it cannot run KERS there.

"We plan to have it on the car for Malaysia," Horner said when asked by AUTOSPORT about the future plans for the device.

"The KERS effect here [in Australia] is less, as the run to the first corner is shorter. So that is our main exposure, which is why we didn't want you guys to tell the rest of the world that we didn't have it.

"In Malaysia there is a relatively long run to the first turn, and we will be keen to get it on the car as soon as possible."

Horner said the team had taken KERS off the car because it did not want to risk reliability issues and it had also done so in secret because it did not want the opposition to know it could be exposed at the start.

"We tested it, we ran the system earlier in the weekend and we decided that there was a potential, albeit small chance, of a reliability issue with it so we elected not to run it this weekend," he explained. "But obviously we didn't want to tell the world although looking at the start the guys had, it looked like we didn't need it."

Horner said he was also amused by the speculation that had run around the paddock suggesting his team had a lightweight start-only KERS system.

"You guys [the media] went off on a great little tangent, but the problem is that you have probably made Adrian [Newey] think of that one now! I can blame you lot for that then."

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Red Bull to decide on KERS today
RBR 'gaining confidence' in KERS
Hamilton: Red Bull will need KERS
Horner: Red Bull did not have KERS