F1: Vettel taking nothing for granted despite Ferrari's pace
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes may have praised Ferrari's superb performance at the Belgian Grand Prix, but Sebastian Vettel knows there is still plenty of work to do to end the Silver Arrows' dominance.
Vettel came from second on the grid to win at Spa-Francorchamps last weekend, the four-time world champion showing the impressive speed he has at his fingertips this season.
Ferrari's pace impressed Mercedes and Vettel's title rival Hamilton, but the German is not getting too carried away given the deficit they have had to make up over recent years.
This weekend sees Ferrari's home grand prix and many expect the Scuderia to flourish at Monza's fast track given it rewards the quickest cars.
However, Vettel remains wary of the threat posed by Mercedes and does not believe back-to-back race wins is a guarantee.
"I find it quite nice that we get put in this position," he told Thursday's media conference.
"People forget that for the last five years, Mercedes have had absolute dominance, especially in terms of power unit, and obviously it's nice from them to put us in that position because it means that they believe they are not the strongest anymore.
"It's good to be up there with them and be a match but I don't think we can take anything for granted. I don't think we are anywhere near the place that they have been in the last years.
Autograph session #ItalianGP #Kimi7 #Seb5 pic.twitter.com/abjcnQUwN1
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"We have to work hard, make things happen, and we are determined to work hard this weekend to put ourselves hopefully in the same position again, that we have great pace this weekend and especially the race this Sunday.
"I think it's quite even to be honest. We started the season a little bit behind and also mid-season we had some weaknesses here and there.
"We have always been a bit stronger in the races. We managed to improve our package and our car seems to work this year at all the tracks, that's what makes us strong. Probably stronger than last year and stronger for the second half."
Vettel's cautious approach is shared by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn knowing ending their eight-year wait for victory at the Italian Grand Prix relies heavily on getting the set-up right.
"It's that close that small differences dictate who's fastest in the race," he added. "If you don't get everything right you might not win.
"It's very close [with Mercedes] and it changes from circuit to circuit, some suit a car better than the other.
"We can only do our best and see where we end up on Sunday. It's is not clear cut."