Belgian GP: World champion Sebastian Vettel confident of Spa race charge

Sebastian Vettel is confident of being able to make up places in today's Belgian Grand Prix from 10th on the grid

Belgian GP: World champion Sebastian Vettel confident of Spa race charge

Red Bull drivers have traditionally found overtaking a little more difficult than some of the team's rivals at Spa thanks to a setup philosophy that offers strong acceleration but puts a limit on top speed, even when the DRS is deployed.

But Vettel has no doubts that he will be able to make up ground.

"It is a long race tomorrow and it is possible to overtake here. I think we were in a worse position in Monaco where we were ninth," said Vettel when asked by AUTOSPORT whether he was worried about being able to overtake.

"The nature of the track works in our favour, so you are not entirely relying on the DRS as you can overtake in other places. We were quite comfortable overtaking people here last year.

"Generally, our race pace is better than our qualifying pace, so we should be fine."

While Vettel was able to pass cars when necessary last year, because he started from pole position there was no imperative to make up places in the early stages against cars on rubber of similar age.

Superficially, the main speed trap suggests that Red Bull should be in a strong position, with Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber topping the list at 310.6km/h and 309.7km/h respectively. This trap is located at the start of the Kemmel straight.

By the time the cars reach the speed trap at the end point of sector 1 (145 metres before Les Combes), Webber and Vettel are 21st and 24th respectively with speeds of 316.4km/h and 316.0km/h respectively.

At that point, the fastest car in the speed trap, the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi, was clocked at 330.9km/h in qualifying.

Even though that speed was achieved with the use of DRS, something that a car being chased by a Red Bull is unlikely to have when defending, it suggests that Vettel and Webber could struggle for the top speed to complete a move despite having the acceleration to make up ground on the run from La Source through Eau Rouge.

Despite that, Vettel insists that his sights are firmly set on victory.

"The target is to go forward, the target is to win," said Vettel. "I don't think it is impossible from where we start.

"If we started last, it would still be the target. It is important to have a good start and a good first lap and then we will see what is possible.

"But overtaking is possible, so anything can happen."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Edd Straw
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