Red Bull Racing is hopeful that Mark Webber can get himself into a position now to challenge Sebastian Vettel regularly for race victories, on the back of his strong showing in the European Grand Prix.
Webber has struggled in the opening phase of the campaign to get the most out of Pirelli's new tires, and the only time he has beaten Vettel in qualifying was at the Spanish GP when his teammate's pace was hindered by a lack of KERS.
However, Webber appeared to make a breakthrough in Valencia last weekend. He qualified right behind his German teammate and then delivered his strongest race performance so far this year. With that pace having been shown at a track that Webber has not particularly liked in the past, it bodes well for venues coming up – like Silverstone, where the Australian won last year.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has no doubts that Webber is now better than he has been at any point this season, and thinks that is a positive sign looking forward.
"It was Mark Webber's best race of the season in terms of his performance on the tires," said Horner about his Valencia performance. "I think that it is closest he has been to Seb all season, and he drove very well this weekend. Nobody is taking anything for granted."
When asked if he believed Webber could build on his performance, Horner said: "I hope so. I hope he keeps up the momentum he has built this weekend, because he has made no secret of the fact that he has struggled more with these tires.
"He understands them better now. You only have to look at the time difference in the race, because he was only four to five seconds away for 90 percent of the race. Hopefully he will take a lot of confidence out of the weekend."
Webber's chances of challenging Vettel for the win at the British GP will be dependent on what impact the forthcoming ban on the off-throttle use of blown diffusers has. Although some are suggesting that the regulation clarification could hurt Red Bull Racing, rival teams actually fear it could help the championship leaders, because it has not been using the concept as much as other squads.
"It is a little bit of an unknown," said Horner. "It is the same regulation clarification for everybody, but the effect it will have on the others is impossible for us to predict.
"I don't think we have gone as extreme as the others have, either with the type of air that is being blown or the position. One team has built its entire car around it. So one would have thought it would have a bigger impact for them than the others, but you will see the net loss, be it plus or minus, being fairly consistent across the teams."