Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull team will continue their dominance in 2012, four-time champion Alain Prost predicted Thursday.
Vettel has won the last two championships with Red Bull, which also topped the constructors' standings in both years.
"I think it's going to be difficult for the other teams to beat Vettel and Red Bull, but obviously not impossible," Prost said in Moscow, where he is taking part in an ice racing event.
The speed of the Red Bulls has been unmatched over the last two championships, and the 56-year-old Frenchman said that this provided a basis for continued dominance in the sport.
"When you have this kind of advantage, it's very tough for the other teams to catch up."
Red Bull design chief Adrian Newey is best-placed to help his team benefit from new rules for the 2012 season, Prost said.
"When you have a change to the technical regulations, even if it's small, it always has an impact. Normally it should advantage good designers and people that have good ideas, and Adrian Newey of Red Bull is obviously the best, so it should be even better for them."
He said that he expected McLaren, last year's runners-up, to be Red Bull's closest challengers again this year, but ruled out an outright two-horse race.
"I expect a long season and maybe surprises from Mercedes or Ferrari. A fight between Red Bull and McLaren should be the normal way."
Prost won the world championship with McLaren in 1985, 1986 and 1989, and with Williams in 1993, his last season in the sport. Last month, he won the French Andros Trophy ice racing championship for the third time. Thursday's Moscow event is a one-off exhibition.