By this time last season, Sebastian Vettel was romping away to a dominant second world championship and seemingly nothing could touch the Red Bull car out on track. A rare stutter the previous race in Canada had cost him a win, but that had galvanised Vettel into dominating at Valencia, easily winning from pole position.
Fast forward 12 months, and Vettel can only dream of that sort of domination in 2012. He knows he's facing a much tougher time of it now that everyone is so much closer together in terms of performance - especially if he's not able to clinch pole again.
"Overtaking is possible, but only with some risk," he said. "The reason is that the air turbulence created by cars driving closely behind each other doesn't disappear as it normally would due to the high walls around the track; you lose grip and, in some extreme cases, you have to lift the throttle."
Overtaking was also made difficult by the sheer speed of the street circuit.
"In Valencia, we drive an average of more than 200kph, which means it's one of the fastest street circuits in F1," he said. "The start-finish straight in Valencia is special because it's not very long, it turns into a fast right corner which we take at 290kph."
Other teams have compared the circuit to Montreal, where Red Bull have never won - Vettel finished off the podium last weekend, and will be eyeing the hotter, rougher Valencia street circuit with some wariness.
As for his team mate, Mark Webber can at least look back at the race before Montreal to where he claimed victory at another street circuit - the prestigious Monaco outing.
The Australian doesn't seem to be particularly eyeing up chances of a repeat win in Valencia, but certainly hopes to keep his own momentum going in the drivers' championship battle.
"Obviously it's very difficult to predict how we might go in Valencia, as we've clearly seen with seven winners and plenty of different podiums," he said. "Our main goal is to improve our positions in both championships, so personally for me in the drivers' championship and of course the team is looking to keep a good margin in the constructors'. I know everyone in Milton Keynes has been working incredibly hard in between the two races."