Red Bull Racing duo Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel believe their team has nothing to fear at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix, although they admit that Spa-Francorchamp's long straights could hurt their chances of victory.
Although the RB6 has proved to be the pace-setting machine so far this season, the team itself readily concedes that its major weakness is its straight-line speed performance – especially relative to the Mercedes-powered McLaren team. Although Spa's high-speed corners should be perfect for the Red Bull car, its flat-out first and third sectors will not be ideal for the RB6. Nevertheless, Webber and Vettel are upbeat about their chances as they make a bid to stamp their authority on the championship table.
"I don't think there is a driver on the grid that doesn't look forward to Spa," said Webber, who moved to the head of the title standings following his victory in Hungary. "It's an incredible circuit to drive on. I expect we can do well there, whether it's as well as I did in Budapest is a question for everyone, but I know our team is ready."
Vettel, who saw his chances of victory in Hungary dashed after making a mistake behind the safety car, said: "I love Spa, it has some of the best corner sections in Formula 1. They're long, fast-flowing and suit our car. We were very competitive in the race there last year, but we lost out in qualifying a bit. Our weakness will be the long straights and, with uphill sections, too, we know it won't be easy for us, but I am optimistic for the race."
The Spa event will likely see a return of the close scrutiny of the front wings of the RB6 following the questions about their legality at the last two races. The FIA is set to ramp up the front wing flex tests starting this weekend, although Red Bull is confident that its wing will pass the new more stringent tests without problems.
As well as looking to improve its own performance, Red Bull will also face a tougher challenge from rivals McLaren and Ferrari. McLaren, although not introducing any major new updates, is throwing everything it can at trying to get more out of its blown diffuser concept, while Ferrari is set to introduce a new floor design in Friday practice.