Jenson Button does not believe that Red Bull is as far ahead of its rivals as its recent run of form suggests.
Sebastian Vettel is chasing his fourth consecutive victory in India this weekend, having moved to the top of the title standings with his recent triumph in Korea. But while many believe that Vettel is now clear favorite to extend his run of form, Button thinks that Red Bull's advantage has been flattered by circumstance. He reckons that Red Bull has shown signs of its blistering speed before, but had never properly shown it.
"Perhaps they under-performed before [Singapore] – and in Hungary they did," he said. "Sebastian was the quickest guy on the circuit but he was stuck behind me. So, I think they have under performed.
"Sebastian qualified 11th in Spa and finished second, and had the same race pace as us. At Monza they were not quick, but at most races they were quick and it hasn't worked out, and in the last few races it has been the same for us.
"I think they are doing a very good job. I think they are quick, but I wouldn't say they are a big amount quick. The biggest thing has been their qualifying which has improved, because their race pace has been good for many races. The last few races their race pace is up to where it was last year, which is a little bit painful, but maybe that is the double DRS thing they are running with."
Button's view on Red Bull means he sees no reason why his outfit cannot challenge Vettel and his team-mate Mark Webber for the win in India.
"At the last race [in Korea] we don't know what our car could have done," he said. "In Japan we couldn't have beaten them, but before that we were getting very close and fighting with them.
"They have upgraded their car so they are doing a very good job and, when the car works well, Seb gets the best out of it. But we don't come here thinking it is going to be Red Bull all the way. We think we can challenge them here – and I am sure Ferrari come here thinking the same thing.
"The last three races have been good for them, but in a way you can say Seb was lucky with his first win in Singapore, with Lewis pulling out. So there is every opportunity to challenge them for race wins."