No need for KERS as Vettel strolls to Melbourne win image

( Red Bull admitted it did not use KERS at any time on Saturday or Sunday after Sebastian Vettel dominantly won the Australian grand prix.

Finally quashing rumours that the RB7 features a ‘mini-KERS’ 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.”