Can Red Bull stop another Brawn whitewash in Turkey?

redbullgRed Bull Racing have confirmed they will not make any significant changes to their car ahead of next week’s Turkish Grand Prix, paving the way for another Brawn GP whitewash.

The Milton-Keynes based outfit emerged as Brawn’s major rivals in the early part of the season after dominating the Chinese Grand Prix, and a decision to focus their efforts on developing a split diffuser for the Monaco Grand Prix was supposed to bring them even closer to the Brackley team.

But the team appeared to take a step back in Monte Carlo with Sebastian Vettel struggling to match the Brawn drivers in qualifying despite carrying half of their fuel load. It was Ferrari that went on to challenge Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello in the race.

With only minor upgrades to the RB5 planned for Istanbul, Red Bull Racing could find themselves falling even further behind.

Team principal Christian Horner said: “In Istanbul, the RB5 will essentially be in the same specification as in Monaco, with a few minor aero updates.”

“This is an important race in the Championship and our target is to challenge the Brawns who have had a remarkable run so far.”

“It was also clear at the last two races that Ferrari have made a significant step forward and I think we can expect them to play a key role this weekend, especially as it’s a race they’ve won for the past three years.”

However, the Istanbul speed park, with its flowing mix of high speed corners including the notorious turn 8, replicates some of the characteristics of Barcelona and should suit the RB5 better than Monaco.

“The high-speed Turkish track represents a completely different challenge to Monaco and it should be better suited to the strengths of our car,” confirmed Horner. “Mark was competitive at this circuit last year and Sebastian made his F1 debut in Turkey in 2007, as a ‘Friday-driver’ for BMW, topping the time sheet in both sessions.”

“It will be important for us to achieve a strong result and our objective has to be to reduce the gap to the Championship leaders. We’ve been competitive at all the circuits so far this season, even though at a couple of races our performance has been compromised by cars equipped with KERS.

“Management of the softer tyres in the inevitably high Turkish temperatures will also be a key factor, as indeed it has been at most of the races so far. It will be important not to abuse the tyres in the high-speed turns and this could play a key role in the final result. We look forward to the weekend, it should be a really interesting race.”