Mark Webber has played down his chances of beating Sebastian Vettel to pole, but insists he is on the right track to catching his widely-lauded Red Bull teammate.
After a difficult opening four races to 2011, the Australian was quicker in both Friday practice sessions at Barcelona, the scene of his victory from pole a year ago.
"I have improved, but I still have not been as fast as Sebastian in qualifying," he admitted in an interview with O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper.
"From pole, he can manage the degradation of the tyres. I drop behind with faster wear and have to replace them before him, compromising my race. But he (Vettel) is driving like never before," acknowledged Webber, 34.
He knows the time is now to kick-start his campaign for the 2011 championship.
"I have to stop this winning streak of Sebastian's," said Webber. "If he wins the next three or four it will be bad for me and for you (the media)," he added.
Anything we invent is immediately questioned
Webber said the FIA's decision to ban off-throttle exhaust blowing in the next few races is "absurd", and Red Bull's F1 consultant Helmut Marko agrees.
"Anything we invent is immediately questioned," he is quoted by Kleine Zeitung newspaper.
But: "In the event that the regulations are rewritten, we already have a solution," he warned.