Red Bull Racing’s straight-line struggles in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix can be partially explained by teething troubles with their Kinetic Energy Recovery System system (KERS system), which operates in a “radically different” way to those of rival teams, it was revealed today.

But other teams have already lodged a protest with the FIA, believing the team to be utilising an illegal perpetual motion system for energy recovery.

It is thought that Red Bull’s design team, headed by genius Adrian Newey, have devised a KERS solution that recovers all of the energy released under braking, meaning that the team suffer none of the braking instability or balance issues other teams are known to struggle with.

“Obviously Red Bull haven’t got their system perfected yet, as their KERS problems in China demonstrate,” said Mona Jealously, McLaren’s official delegate to the race stewards. “But there is a tacit acknowledgement between all teams in Formula One, whether it is literally written into the rules or not, that everyone should do their best to obey the First Law of Thermodynamics at all times. Red Bull risk violating that agreement and sparking a catastrophic arms race between teams. If only we could figure out how they were doing it.”

“All of this talk about ‘the spirit of the regulations’ is absolute guff,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner responded shiftily. “If we’re using a perpetual motion system, which we probably aren’t, then it would be perfectly in accordance with the regulations. Contrary to McLaren’s belief, the laws of thermodynamics are actually just a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule.”

Red Bull’s current troubles could be symptomatic of attempts in Formula One to defy the laws of physics, as Vitaly Petrov discovered in Malaysia when attempting to circumvent gravity.