|© Clive Mason/Getty Images/Red Bull Racing
Successive victories for Sebastian Vettel, the first driver to register such a feat this season, has given the titleholder an edge in the championship after Red Bull turned its car around from an inconsistent frontrunner to a dominant one.
Four points separate the German from leader Fernando Alonso after the Singapore and Japanese GPs with the defending champion now holding the advantage with five races remaining in the season.
The introduction of the double DRS, a concept introduced by Mercedes this year, has assisted Red Bull in emerging as the team to beat although Christian Horner dismissed it as the most significant factor in its recent wins.
"As with all these things, there's never a silver bullet and I think it would be very difficult to say the car's performance here is purely down to a rear wing," the team principal was quoted saying by Reuters. "I think we've made progress in all areas and it's about chipping away at the detail.
"It would be wrong to say that our upturn in performance is purely down to finding a few kilometres an hour on the straight," he stressed.
Red Bull has been seeking that edge in qualifying and the DDRS may have contributed in Vettel’s pole position at Suzuka, who was nearly half a second quicker than his nearest rival.
The DRS can be used throughout the circuit in qualifying although the mechanism is limited in the race to just one section of the track, although the 25-year-old could not much use of it during his win at Suzuka anyway.
“In the race I wasn't really using DRS, so it didn't really matter,” said Vettel playing down the significance of the system. “Fortunately I didn't have to use it. I think we've made improvements over the last couple of races. Qualifying was a bit our weakness and has seemed a little bit better in the last races.”