• Chinese Grand Prix

Red Bull set for 'significant improvement'

ESPNF1 Staff
April 14, 2011 « Whitmarsh keen to keep drivers for five years | »
Sebastian Vettel has been the class of the field so far this year © Sutton Images

Red Bull is hoping a "significant improvement" to its car for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix will help it maintain its advantage over its rivals.

Sebastian Vettel has taken pole position at and won the first two grands prix of the season, but rivals McLaren and Ferrari have both publicised upgrade packages for this weekend's race. Red Bull team consultant Helmut Marko has revealed his team is not resting on its laurels and will target its own performance boost at Shanghai.

"Yes, we are currently ahead of the others, but they are moving quickly and things could be different very soon," he told AS. "That's what we have to avoid. We will introduce a significant improvement in China. I cannot say what it is, but it is necessary because standing still in F1 is tantamount to stepping backwards."

He also played down the possibility of favouritism after Mark Webber has struggled to match his team-mate Vettel in the opening rounds of the season.

"Last year it was Vettel struggling in the first two races, as fortune can be cruel," he said. "I would say that Sebastian's misfortune at the beginning of 2010 was worse than it has been for Mark this season."

Fellow German Nick Heidfeld admitted he had been impressed by Vettel's start to the season.

"I don't know if he sees it that way, perhaps for him it's the same as always," he told sport1.de. "But viewed from the outside you can say he is a bit more relaxed and is a bit more experienced. So far he has done a flawless season."