• Chinese Grand Prix

Heidfeld rues KERS issues

ESPNF1 Staff
April 17, 2011 « Horner defends Vettel's two-stop strategy | »
Renault endured a tough day running in the midfield, with Vitaly Petrov picking up 2 points for ninth © Getty Images

Nick Heidfeld has said that a problem with KERS cost him any chance of points as he finished 12th in the Chinese Grand Prix.

A disappointing qualifying session yesterday meant Heidfeld had to start well down the field in 16th place, with team-mate Vitaly Petrov in 10th. Heidfeld said he went on the offensive after a poor start, but that his progress was hampered early on by a KERS issue which prevented him using the full power boost.

"I'm not happy with where I finished, even though I started P16. The start was very poor, but I went aggressive into the first corner and made up a few places. After a few laps I started having problems with the KERS and couldn't use the full power all the time, which made overtaking and defending quite difficult."

Heidfeld did say that he had some encouragement towards the middle of the race, but that traffic in the form of Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil stopped him showing the team's true potential.

"I think our pace in the second stint on the soft tyre was not too bad, but it was still hard to attack the cars ahead of me. That's why we made an early stop for hard tyres in the hope that we could get some clean air and jump the cars ahead of me. Unfortunately Perez and Sutil stopped on the same lap, and it meant I couldn't really show our pace in the final stint."

Chief engineer Alan Permane said that Renault had diagnosed the KERS problem as an overheating issue.

"It was a tricky day for us, which wasn't helped by our poor qualifying yesterday, but ultimately we struggled for pace and both drivers found it quite difficult to overtake. [Nick] struggled with KERS overheating problems, which meant the system could only be used intermittently and made it even more difficult for him to come through the field."