Mark Webber is coping better with a less-than-perfect 2012 Red Bull
car than this two-time world champion team mate Sebastian Vettel, according to Cyril Dumont, Track Support Leader and engineer for Renault
"Mark tends to be able to get around the problems and adapt," Dumont told the Australian Associated Press (AAP).
"But for Sebastian, each ingredient needs to be at its optimum for him to have full confidence and get the performance out.
"It is true that at the first grands prix he has been less comfortable" in 2012, continued Dumont. "Mark seems to be suffering less," he added, pointing to Webber managing to out-qualify Vettel in all three of the races so far this season.
Red Bull racing boss Dr Helmut Marko agreed with Dumont's assessment. "Mark is less sensitive to the car's behaviour. He just needs four wheels, but it's different for Vettel," he said. "Sebastian needs a car in which certain conditions are met - and our car doesn't have these.
"He can't get the confidence he needs with the car," continued Dr Marko, talking to Servus TV
in Austria. "This makes him make uncharacteristic mistakes."
The fact that the Red Bull
hasn't claimed a pole position so far in 2012 - after sweeping all of the first three poles in 2011 - speaks volumes.
"We have a car that does not have the superiority which we had last year," admitted Marko.
From Red Bull's perspective, the apparent slump in Red Bull's fault is more a case of enemy action than it is any major mistakes on their part, however.
"[It's] due to several technical changes that were deliberately enforced against Red Bull," insisted Marko.
One of the major talking points in China was how the two drivers went different ways on the exhaust layout on the car, with Vettel sticking with an old specification and Webber having more success with the newer version. But Marko confirmed that now they would unify on the new exhaust set-up for Bahrain.
"We collected a lot of data on different cars [in China] but ended up more or less in the same place," he said. "We will go on with the Mark Webber