Queanbeyan's Mark Webber is better suited to the new Red Bull car than his teammate Sebastian Vettel, according to the team's racing boss Helmut Marko. Photo: Getty Images
Amid claims of a conspiracy to end their formula one dominance, Red Bull is likely to rely again on Mark Webber for success in this weekend's controversial Bahrain Grand Prix.
As political unrest threatened to disrupt the event, Red Bull made the journey to the Gulf state with the updated RB8 - a car Webber's teammate Sebastian Vettel does not like, but will be forced to drive.
The dual world champion preferred the launch version of the car but the team has decided Vettel will drive the latest specification of the car's exhaust layout.
In China, the team allowed Vettel to go back to the previous spec, while Queanbeyan's Webber qualified better and finished higher with Adrian Newey's latest developments.
Red Bull racing boss Helmut Marko admits Webber - who has out-qualified Vettel in each of this season's three races - again looks more settled than the German.
''He [Vettel] can't get the confidence he needs with the car … and this makes him make uncharacteristic mistakes,'' Marko said yesterday.
But, despite Vettel's inability to come to grips with the upgrades, Red Bull says the latest specification exhaust is the right way forward.
''We will go on with the Mark Webber car,'' Marko said.
''Mark is less sensitive to the [car's] behaviour. Sebastian Vettel needs a car in which certain conditions are met - and our car doesn't have these.''
Meanwhile, Marko says new regulations this season were designed to halt Red Bull's dominance - last year, the team took 12 race wins, 18 pole positions and the drivers' and constructors' titles.
This season has started with three different race winners and not one of them a Red Bull.
Marko claims the rules outlawing blown diffusers and tightening front-wing tests were implemented to level the field.
''We have a car that does not have the superiority which we had last year. This is due to several technical changes that were deliberately enforced against Red Bull,'' he said.
However, he admitted the changes could not be entirely blamed for the team's poor start to the year.
Webber said cars would probably react differently to the Bahrain track this weekend after a series of regulation changes.
''We haven't been to the circuit for two years and the last time we raced on the current track layout was in 2009,'' Webber said.
''We also haven't been there with Pirelli tyres or the DRS [drag reduction system], so it's going to be interesting to see how those new features go.
''It's going to be important to understand the tyres quickly and you need good top speed and braking.
''It's a hot race, hotter than it was in Australia and Shanghai and more like the temperature in Malaysia.''
Red Bull is second in the 2012 constructors' standings after three of 20 rounds, with Webber placed fourth and Vettel fifth in the drivers' championship.
Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Sakhir, 10pm. TV time: Live on Ten from 9.30pm.