F1 2010 World Championship leaders Red Bull Racing are confident that a revision to the F-duct on the Adrian Newey-penned RB6 has provided a timely boost in straight-line speed just when Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel need it the most.
Whilst Vettel and Webber ran rings around the opposition last time out at Suzuka with a commanding Japanese Grand Prix one-two – around a circuit that the young German later quipped could almost have been 'designed' to perfectly match the characteristics of the RB6 – the car has tended to struggle rather more at tracks that have long straights, where its Renault engine all-of-a-sudden finds itself somewhat breathless in comparison with its Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz adversaries.
Spa-Francorchamps and particularly Monza recently were pertinent examples of this, and both Red Bull motorsport advisor Dr. Helmut Marko and Webber have publicly expressed their concerns that the Korea International Circuit in Yeongam County – boasting reputedly the longest straight on the F1 calendar at 1.2 kilometres – could play right into the hands of the energy drinks-backed outfit's immediate title rivals, with the Australian reflecting in Japan that 'we need a cushion, especially for the next race'.
However, German publication Auto Motor und Sport
now reports that a development to the aerodynamic-enhancing F-duct – roughly in-line with similar improvements at Renault – has raised the team's confidence that it may yet be able to keep pace in Korea, with Vettel acknowledging: “We are no longer losing so much on the straights.”