Sebastian Vettel arrives at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza this weekend aiming for a second consecutive victory after triumphing at Spa-Francorchamps last week, which helped him close the gap on Lewis Hamilton at the head of the championship standings to seventeen points.
Vettel has won previously at Monza, both for Scuderia Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing, but has yet to stand on the top step of the podium for Scuderia Ferrari, with Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport having dominated the races there throughout the hybrid era to date.
Vettel says there is probably no better chance of breaking that Mercedes domination this weekend, particularly with the updated engine that appeared to bring significant pace improvements to the SF71H at Spa.
“In Spa we brought some updates, including the new engine and this track in Monza is somewhat similar to the one in Spa, but there are turns too, not just straights, that can make the difference,” said Vettel.
“We need to find the right rhythm for this weekend. For sure, we don’t want just a podium. Winning is always great, but obviously winning here means much more to us as we are in Italy, the country where Ferrari was born.
“Our task is to make sure our car gets even better than in Spa. We know we have a very good engine, a great package, and we look ahead to the challenge. It’s great to get into the car and feel that it is possible to fight for first place.”
Vettel says the team laid the platform for the SF71H with their 2016 and 2017 machines, but the aim is to keep improving and becoming stronger, which will only come from continuing to work hard.
“I believe 2016 and 2017 were fundamental for the development of the car and it’s so beautiful to see we have kept on with the pace,” he said. “However, we want to get stronger and keep working hard”.