Are Red Bull using KERS to induce traction control?

Red Bull Racing RB9 KERS

Red Bull RB9 KERS

Another theory trying to explain Sebastian Vettel’s late-season dominance at the wheel of the Red Bull RB9 has emerged.

Speculation in Korea last weekend suggested clever but legal engine mapping system aboard his Red Bull that mimics the benefits of illegal traction control.

Now, Spain’s El Confidencial newspaper has reported burgeoning rumours that the Adrian Newey-penned RB9, which in Vettel’s hands has won the last four grands prix on the trot, is in fact somehow deploying its KERS system to enhance cornering traction.

The rumours, which date back to Singapore last month, say Red Bull could have linked KERS to suspension sensors, with the engine being subsequently dragged through the process of energy harvesting.

The report made a potential link between the system and the fact that Red Bull tends to have frequent reliability problems with its KERS units.

Mark Webber said immediately after retiring in Korea that “there was a KERS fire”, but Red Bull later said it was caused by oil leaking onto the exhaust after the crash with Adrian Sutil.

Newey, meanwhile, played down the link between Red Bull’s KERS system and its superior traction.

“I doubt the gain is from KERS,” he is quoted by Racecar Engineering. “We, like everyone, do work on how to best deploy it, but I think everyone is similar in how they use it.” (GMM)

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