Sebastian Vettel hopes Red Bull Racing can take a significant step forward and re-seize the advantage in the F1 2010 World Championship with the introduction of an 'important part' on the Adrian Newey-designed RB6 in next weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia – the McLaren-Mercedes pioneered F-duct.
For the first time in eight races this season, Red Bull was beaten to pole position in last weekend's Canadian Grand Prix – albeit around a circuit at which the hitherto pace-setting Renault-powered challenger had always been tipped to struggle somewhat – and the expectation had been for more of the same in Spain in eight days' time.
Not only have Mark Webber and young team-mate Vettel slipped from joint top in the drivers' title standings to third and fifth respectively, but RBR has similarly surrendered the lead in the chase for the constructors' crown, with McLaren's back-to-back one-two finishes in Istanbul and Montreal witnessing a changing of the guard.
Some in the paddock contend that the shift in momentum could just prove to be fatal for Red Bull – with McLaren boasting an unrivalled reputation for development pace – but Vettel is confident nothing is over yet and that the tables can still be re-turned.
Both of the energy drinks-backed outfit's drivers tried out the downforce-stalling F-duct for the first time in Turkish Grand Prix practice last month, prior to deciding to put it on-hold pending further improvements. With the long straights and slow corners of the Valencia Street Circuit expected to favour McLaren's eagerly-copied innovation, however, it has been deemed that now is the time to introduce it on the RB6.
“With the F-duct system, we are getting an important part on the car,” Vettel told German publication Auto Bild Motorsport
, adding that the team is 'fully concentrated' on the forthcoming challenge after its Canadian disappointment. “Our technical chief Adrian Newey did not come to Canada in order to put the finishing touches on the new system at the factory.”