The Scuderia Ferrari team took a comfortable win at Spa last weekend. But, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is under pressure to deliver a home victory, a feat that the whole of Italy is expecting at Monza.
Performance-wise, the Italian outfit has the upper hand over its Mercedes rival. Sebastian Vettel’s performance was a clear testament of that in last Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
What helped their cause was a recent engine upgrade. This was coupled with an apparent engineering advantage in the battery and energy management department. As a result, the Maranello squad has sustained their momentum against the silver Arrows.
However, Arrivabene refuses to play the complacence card inspite of Ferrari’s form. He insists that Ferrari is still in hot pursuit of Mercedes’ 15-point advantage in the Constructors’ standings.
“I read many articles that talk about our guys who work so well on the car,” Arrivabene said.
“But then in the team I had to remind everyone that we are not ahead, we are chasing, so we keep our heads down.”
The Italian nevertheless acknowledged the squad’s good performance in Spa where he was more than happy to see his troops ruffle its rival’s feathers, something unusual for Mercedes.
“They are not used to it,” said Arrivabene. “We were silent, we took punches left and right and we got up. We are used to it, they are not.”
However, a stung and wound-up Mercedes team, determined to fight back, will be formidable force to be reckoned with at the Temple of Speed.
The fireworks will be massive between to two outfits, but the pressure to win will be on the Scuderia, with stakes running high.
“For us it would be a dream and a gift to give all of Italy, but the responsibility has always been there,” added Arrivabene.
“This year there is more pressure because we won the previous race, but this is racing and we are used to it.
“We are still a young team and I do not guarantee anything for the end of the season, but everyone wants it — and you know what I mean.”