According to Giorgio Ascanelli, technical director of Scuderia Toro Rosso, Valencia was the track where things really clicked for Sebastian Vettel. During practice in 2008, Ascanelli claims that Vettel learned "to be be fast" - and he has remained so ever since. Valencia is resoundingly Vettel territory, as his victory in last year's race proved. But after stretching his championship lead to 60 points ahead of Jenson Button, some rivals suspect that this could be a turning point for Red Bull.
Although the ban on off-throttle blowing of the diffuser (well, the limiting of it to 10 per cent) doesn't kick in until the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, the revelation that engine maps may not be changed between qualifying on the race has created anticipation that the dominant team's flying lap advantage could vanish. Certainly, that's what the likes of McLaren and Ferrari suspect, although it's fair to say that there's little fear inside Red Bull about a change that could prove to disadvantage other teams more than them.
So is there any reason to expect anything other than a Vettel whitewash on Saturday? Probably not, although Mark Webber proved last year that he could hold a candle to the German by getting within a tenth of a second of him in qualifying. The real question is whether Red Bull will once again be under pressure during the race. And what's more, who will be applying the pressure?
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