Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner refused to be drawn on speculation that his team has a start-only KERS on its car, but insists there is a good explanation for his drivers not using the power boost in qualifying
The Albert Park paddock was full of talk on Saturday night about the reasons why neither Sebastian Vettel nor Mark Webber used their KERS during the battle for the top grid positions on Saturday. Many rival teams were left baffled about the benefits of not taking advantage of the half-tenth boost that KERS can bring on a qualifying lap, prompting talk that the decision was forced on the team through reliability fears, or that there was a strategic element based on gear ratios or tire strategy.
One idea put forward was that Red Bull Racing was using a unique start-only KERS, which would be lighter and smaller than normal systems as it did not need to feature any on-board cooling or recharging elements. The start-only system could in theory be charged in the pits before the race, therefore ensuring the drivers had use of the boost for the run down to the first corner. Yet, even if the team does have a start-only system, it still does not explain why the team did not use it for its single use in qualifying.
Horner was reluctant to go into the reasons behind the decision not to run KERS, but said that it was a deliberate tactical move.
"Strategically, we elected to not use KERS in the qualifying – it was a team decision," Horner told AUTOSPORT about the reasons behind the KERS decision. "But I'm not going to tell you what you are fishing for."
When asked if the team would be using KERS in the race itself, Horner again did not wish to disclose anything.
"You will have to wait and see and watch the television," he said. "I am not going to spoil the excitement."
Horner conceded that the time lost by not running KERS may well have cost Webber a spot on the front row, but said that there was a good explanation for why it was doing what it was doing.
"Everything we do has a reason behind it," he said.