Jenson Button arrived at his home grand prix, at Silverstone two weekends ago, on top of the world and looking to increase his winning record in 2009 to seven from eight races.
Come Sunday night, however, the Brawn GP driver had been handed his worst result of the season, sixth place, while Red Bull Racing reinvigorated its championship challenge as Sebastian Vettel headed Mark Webber in a 1-2 finish.
Both Button and team-mate Rubens Barrichello suggested that conditions may have hampered Brawn's usual challenge, with the lower than expected temperatures denying them grip as both struggled to match the performance of those around them. While Barrichello duly claimed the final podium place - albeit form second on the grid - he was some 26secs shy of Webber, with Vettel a further 15secs up the road after what was a dominating display from the young German.
Button, meanwhile, dropped to ninth after being baulked by the slow-starting Jarno Trulli and had to battle hard just to reclaim his starting position of sixth, chasing Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg to the line.
Although the Briton maintains a 23-point championship cushion over team-mate Barrichello, many are suggesting that Red Bull - which has made huge technical changes to its RB5 in recent weeks - is now the team to beat. Vettel has closed to within two points of Barrichello as he heads to his home race - with Webber just 3.5 back - and Red Bull appeared to have a definite speed advantage at Silverstone, having finally been able to integrate its own version of the controversial 'double deck' diffuser concept pioneered by Brawn into its already radical car.
But will the same advantage be conferred at the Nurburgring?
Both teams have attempted to play down the significance of RBR's Silverstone performance, with claims that the fast nature of the British circuit played into the hands of the RB5 - and out of Brawn's BGP001 - while Button himself insists that the inability to generate tyre temperature , and thus grip, cast a temporary blip on his season, a problem exacerbated by Silverstone's renowned lack of overtaking opportunities.
So can the Briton bounce back in Germany next weekend, and turn the tables on the man who spoiled his Silverstone homecoming? The Eifel circuit is infamous for its ability to produce scorching heat, freezing cold (complete with snow) and torrential rain in equal measure, so the elements may not work in Button's favour, but the Brawn team is confident that Red Bull's Silverstone advantage was a one-off and the Briton could be back on top.
Can Jenson Button bounce back in Germany?
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