It would be "very strange" if Sebastian Vettel did not go on to win his second drivers' title in 2011.
That is the claim of Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn, who told the SID news agency he has no qualms nominating Red Bull's runaway championship leader as the unassailable favourite for 2011 spoils.
"I think it would be very strange if Sebastian did not win the championship," said the Briton. "He has a great car, he is driving fantastically -- it's hard to imagine why we wouldn't do it."
Brawn does not think the blown exhaust clampdown, to take its real effect this weekend at Silverstone, will overly affect the pecking order.
"I don't think so. I think most of the top teams are going to lose something, but I don't think it will be dramatic, and I don't think it will change the order.
"All of the top teams will have been working hard to recover the lost performance," added Brawn.
He admitted Mercedes' 2011 car is simply "not fast enough" and thinks some improvements will have to wait until the W02's successor.
All of the top teams will have been working hard to recover the lost performance
"There's nothing fundamentally wrong with our car. It's not a bad car -- it's the fourth fastest in formula one, but that's not our goal," said the Briton.
"We need to improve in every area; aero, suspension, the driveability of the engine. We are one second behind the best."
Brawn denied, however, that the Brackley based squad's German driver lineup is also off the pace, including the struggling seven time world champion Michael Schumacher.
"Both of our drivers are fantastic, we have an outstanding driver lineup and as soon as we have a competitive car, it will be fascinating to see both of them fighting for victory," he said.