Sebastian Vettel’s rivals are bracing themselves for more Red Bull dominance in the Korean Grand Prix this weekend.
In the wake of the huge advantage that Vettel showed in Singapore a fortnight ago, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa say there are not dreaming that the performance was a one-off.
When asked if the circumstances of Singapore, where Vettel was pushing as rivals conserved tires, produced a false picture of Red Bull’s advantage as the team has claimed, Hamilton said: “I don’t think so personally, I think that is the true pace of their car. They have a lot more in the bag than we get to see, so he was just cruising.
“I think in the race, at the restart, everyone is pushing, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t pull away. If you look at the onboard, he is on the power full throttle at least 20 meters before anyone else, which is a huge advantage.
“There is nothing you can really do, as you are always asking for more rear downforce. The last time I was able to put the pedal down that quick was back in 2007 or 2008, when we had traction control.”
Massa reckons that with teams having slowed down their developments for this year as they prepare for the new regulations in 2014, there is little chance of a change in form and Vettel should be well set for more wins.
“If you look at the last race his pace in qualifying and the race, and if you look at the few teams who will have new pieces on their car from now to the last races, if he is similar to what he was in the last race he will have some more victories,” said the Brazilian. “In Singapore at a track with more downforce, they have always shown a good performance.
“I hope it is not like that, but the chance is pretty much in the direction that he can have more victories.”