Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel has admitted it is tricky to say how they will perform at the Italian Grand Prix this coming weekend, although he is 'quite confident'.
The German was unstoppable in Belgium last time out, and cruised to his fifth victory of the season, a result that increased his tally to 197 points, putting him 46 points clear of Fernando Alonso, his closest championship challenger.
Despite his success, however, Vettel isn't getting carried away
and knows that the RB9 isn't especially suited to the Autodromo di Monza, although the Milton Keynes-based outfit also thought that about Spa-Francorchamps too...
“It's very difficult to predict [how things will go this weekend and how we will perform at Monza],” Vettel commented prior to the twelfth round in the 2013 F1 World Championship. “We have had painful years there in a way, where we just get hammered down the straights and we've had years where the loss down the straight was limited, so we could come back in the corners and for sure, if you look back the 2011 experience [when we won] was great in that regard. How it turns out to be this year it's difficult to say.”
“I think we can be quite confident though,” he added. “We had a good race in Canada and we had a very good race at Spa, which are both medium downforce type of tracks, so I hope that our low downforce package goes in the same direction.”
Vettel has won the Italian Grand Prix twice to date and having secured his maiden F1 victory there, it is somewhere he is very fond of.
“This track brings back great memories for me, mainly from my first win there in 2008 with Toro Rosso,” he recalled.
“I can't describe the feeling of standing on the top of the podium for the first time, and Monza was one of the best places to experience it because of the thousands of passionate fans that stand beneath, it gives you goose bumps.”
So what's the circuit like itself? “It is the fastest of the year,” he continued. “The track itself is in principle only made up of straights and chicanes and because of this we reach the fastest top speed of the year at Monza, getting up to 330kph.”
“The acceleration through the Parabolica is a balancing act – if you make the smallest error then you will slide straight into the gravel before you know it,” he warned.