As we have seen this year there is more than one driver/team combination that can win in 2011, but on the evidence of overall car performance the only person likely to beat Sebastian Vettel at Suzuka (weather permitting) is Mark Webber.
Clearly we haven't seen the best of Mark this year, even if the gap between himself and Seb has been tiny in qualifying and race results have been largely influenced by the quality of their starts.
Webber is likely to be Vettel's main threat, says Coulthard © sutton-images.com
Let me remind you that this is the man who fought so hard with Seb last year and was right in the four-way championship battle with him, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso until the last race in Abu Dhabi, finishing within 14 points of the champion. They both have strengths and weaknesses of course, although it has to be said that Seb has been almost faultless in the defence of his championship, whereas Mark has once again seemed to be unlucky at crucial times (but then again, do you really make your own luck?)
There are areas in which both had the upper hand last year but we haven't seen the areas where Mark has the upper hand so far this year. It's got to be just there bubbling below the surface.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.