Red Bull will be in the contention for victory in this weekend's Italian Grand Prix despite running without KERS, according to Mark Webber.
The Australian is currently fourth in the drivers' championship, 20.5 points behind Jenson Button, and with only 50 points left to play for needs a strong result at Monza to keep his title hopes alive. But despite McLaren, Renault and Ferrari all running with a KERS advantage, he is confident that the RB5 will be competitive.
"There are so many cars at the thick end of the field that it's very difficult to get a clear advantage," said Webber. "I certainly don't expect us to have that this weekend, but I expect us to be in the hunt.
"It's going to be interesting to see how the KERS cars go around here. When we're off the throttle, we need to be doing a very very good job.
Webber emphasized that such a close field means Red Bull and Brawn are just one of a large number of teams who have designs on victory despite being locked in a title fight.
"It's not about Brawn and Red Bull anymore – there's more arriving," said Webber. "What we saw at the beginning of the year with Brawn and in the middle of the year with us now [is finished].
"In Spa, I had a drive-through and was out of the points. At the Nurburgring I won."
Despite Brawn's recent patchy form – the team has won only once in five races with Rubes Barrichello in Valencia – Webber is not counting them out this weekend.
"Spa was a bit cold for them, if it is all down to the tire temperature," said Webber. "It just depends on how much effort people have put into their low-downforce package.
"Normally we come here with the track full of rubber after a test, and now we've got to go out when the track is pretty green.
"There are challenges for drivers to get our heads around. We don't go 340kph all of the time, so you spend the first run recalibrating yourself and getting yourself ready for long straights and the car moving around a lot.
"It's going to be interesting in practice to lay the platform for the weekend."