Is the second half of the 2013 F1 season set to be a showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel?
That seems to be the consensus of those in the paddock as F1 gathers together for the first time in a month at this weekend's Belgian Grand Prix.
While the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso are nearer to Vettel in the championship standings, neither car has seemingly got the outright pace to challenge in the final nine races.
Another key factor in the second half of this year will be the transfer of resources to 2014 development, with such major changes coming next year some teams have already stopped updating the 2013 car to focus solely on next year.
Mercedes have promised another major update package for Spa plus the high speed layouts in Belgium and Monza, the next two races, put the more powerful Mercedes in a good position to fight for the win.
Red Bull are not giving up however: "We won in Montreal, even though the circuit is more of a Mercedes track," Dr Helmut Marko told Sport Bild.
"(We) will bring new parts to each of the last nine races."
It is understood Mercedes has put it's most recent addition to the engineering team, Paddy Lowe, in charge of development on the 2013 car right up until the final race.
Despite that, team director Toto Wolff is playing down the team's chances.
"We cannot be confident," he is quoted by the Mirror, "it would be the wrong approach to say we have found the golden key now."
If it is to be a straight fight between Hamilton and Vettel, the 2008 champion has 48 points to make up on his German rival and with many already predicting he will make it four championships in a row, Vettel to is not getting ahead of himself.
"There is still half a season ahead of us, Mercedes has been developing well so we cannot say anything.
"Things change fast in Formula One," he is quoted by Brazil's O Estado de S.Paulo.
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