Rubens Barrichello thinks Brawn GP should have the edge over Red Bull Racing at the Italian Grand Prix, after seeing his team's main opposition fail to capitalize on its speed in Belgium last weekend.
Barrichello moved himself to within 16 points of championship leader Jenson Button with a seventh placed finish at Spa-Francorchamps, with Sebastian Vettel the highest placed Red Bull in third.
With Vettel and Mark Webber having been expected to dominate Belgium, Red Bull's lack of outright pace has lifted Barrichello's hopes of improved fortunes for his team at the high-speed Monza circuit. His optimism is based around the fact that Brawn's BGP 001 is better able to cope with the curbs that characterize Monza than Red Bull's RB5.
"It used to be Monza and Hockenheim and now it's only Monza where you have a different package," said Barrichello. "So our cars are quite good through the curbs. This is a potential positive item for the race.
"Theoretically, I would say our car could have all the potential to be stronger than the Red Bulls. Having said that, we saw Force India almost win the race in Belgium, so this is a Formula 1 season that is full of surprises."
Barrichello has been better able than teammate Button to extract speed out of the Brawn car over recent races, and that has allowed him to reignite his World Championship challenge. He thinks it is his vast experience in F1, which includes several years at Ferrari, that is helping him deal with the pressure of a title assault.
"It's positive that it's getting to that way," he said. "Pressure is something that you create in your own head. If, in a golf match, if you play against somebody, it could get into your head. If you play against the golf course, it's easier. You just have to do your best and that's what I'm doing.
"I think I've done really well over the whole weekend and again I got lucky that I finished with two points with all the problems. On pure performance I should have finished on the podium today, where my teammate would struggle to finish in the points. Pressure will always exist, but I'm confident I've been there and done that."
He also thinks his chances of winning the championship with Brawn this year are greater than they ever were at Ferrari – where he was often forced to play second-fiddle to Michael Schumacher.
"The chances are bigger here," he explained. "The team cannot say we are going to support one driver, because Red Bull is right there as well. So they have to support both and I feel good about that."