Mark Webber was left to count the cost of a Kinetic Energy Recovery System failure on his Red Bull after qualifying fifth for tomorrow Qantas Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.
The Australian was without KERS for most of the session, and completed just one flying lap in Q3 after needing an extra run in Q2 in order to access the affect that the lack of KERS would have on his car’s balance.
While Webber’s Q3 time of 1:25.65s saw him sit second with just minutes of the session still remaining, successive fast laps from Michael Schumacher, Romain Grosjean and Jenson Button pushed the 35-year-old back to the third row.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s qualifying report and results
“Starting the lap without KERS, it’s certainly not a positive thing,” Webber told assembled media, including Speedcafe.com, of the problem’s impact on his grid position.
“I had to go again in Q2 because we had some understanding to do on KERS without the (additional) braking (provided by the system), and that lap wasn’t ideal.
“I made a mistake and I had one lap only. That lap worked out quite well. I don’t think I could have done a huge amount more.
“I think the (Q3) lap was 0.1s off the optimum, plus 0.3s (from the KERS loss), but it’s a coulda, shoulda, whoulda…”
Webber emphasised the importance of scoring points in tomorrow’s race in order to kick-start his 2012 championship campaign.
“We’ll try and move forward, but also keeping in mind it’s a long year,” he said of his race.
“We need to get points in the bank and massage more out of this car quite quickly.”
Webber says he expects his KERS to be fixed in time for tomorrow’s race.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Australian Grand Prix Race Guide