• Malaysian Grand Prix

Button hoping for KERS advantage over Red Bull

ESPNF1 Staff
April 7, 2011 « Formula One teams want a bigger slice of the cake | »
Jenson Button is hoping KERS will be one area where McLaren is stronger than Red Bull © Getty Images

Jenson Button is hoping McLaren will continue to have an advantage over Red Bull with its KERS unit this season.

In Australia Red Bull opted not to run KERS due to some reliability concerns, but even without the technology Sebastian Vettel still dominated qualifying and the race.

McLaren has the best track record with KERS, as one of just two teams to win a race with it in 2009, and Button is hoping his team maintains its advantage in that area this season.

"That's good for us," he is quoted by El Pais. "We need a powerful KERS to compete against them [Red Bull] because in every other area they are very competitive. At the moment I think we're a long way from Red Bull. I get the impression that Seb is yet to show the full potential of that car."

But earlier this week McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale warned against underestimating Red Bull's KERS capability.

"I'm not sure that he [Button] would know about Red Bull's KERS," he said. "Certainly I don't know anything about its system. I think from the basis of Mercedes Benz, which builds our system, with an extra 12 months of experience compared to others then there should be advantages to do with systems intergration and packaging. But that is a very difficult thing to quantify because we don't have any comparative information.

"I think the one thing that we are all looking for at this stage is to make sure that our cars are reliable as possible. Of course with the increase in complexity comes the risk of poorer reliability. So we are fighting very hard to make sure that we have the aerodynamic performance that we are looking for but making sure that the underlying systems are also reliable."

Red Bull insists KERS will be on the car this weekend and on Thursday Mark Webber said it is a "no-brainer".