Rivals expect Red Bull to keep racing ahead

By on Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apr.16 (GMM) Jenson Button sounds less than confident about challenging Red Bull for pole in China.

Before back-to-back polesitter and winner Sebastian Vettel again went fastest in the last practice session before qualifying, Button was asked if McLaren has drawn level with Red Bull after a closer race in Malaysia a week ago.

"No, not at all at the moment," the Briton said in Shanghai. "I'd be surprised if we can fight them for pole. They're so fast."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa agreed: "They (Red Bull) put the car on track and easily make the time, so I don't think that this race it will be too much different from the last one."

When asked if 2011 is a reminder of Michael Schumacher's dominance at Ferrari some years ago, the Brazilian nodded.

"Yes, but I didn't have the pleasure of driving that Ferrari," Massa smiled.

Spain's AS newspaper said the RB7 is 20kph quicker through a quick corner in Shanghai than any other rival.

"I expect they will stay ahead for the whole year, it just remains to be seen whether the gap to the other teams stays the same through developments," wrote Jos Verstappen in his latest column for De Telegraaf.

But Mercedes' Norbert Haug is confident that Red Bull's current dominance will end.

"We know they are very fast," he told Kleine Zeitung, "but we have seen dominance before and, like before, Red Bull's will not be for ever."

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