Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel remains optimistic about his title chances despite Mercedes' dominance at Monza on Sunday.
For the first time this year, Vettel slipped to second in the drivers' standings after finishing third at the Italian Grand Prix, over 30 seconds off new championship leader Lewis Hamilton.
It was Hamilton's second race win in a row after claiming victory at the Belgian Grand Prix one week ago, but it was the sheer dominance of the Mercedes car that really stood out. Vettel admits the gap to Mercedes was bigger than expected, but said Monza -- with its unusual mixture of long straights and tight chicanes -- is not a representative circuit for overall car performance.
"I think we probably lacked something like half a second per lap [in Monza], but there's not all the parts of the race you can judge. I'm not worried too much about the gap. As I said before, Monza is a specific place. If you have that extra bit and confidence then it makes a big difference. So, I'm not too stressed about that.
"We probably knew it would be a difficult race. Probably expected as well that we would be closer but all in all, it's not nice to see them two winning but I think with the third position, at least we gave everything we had and that's the most important."
Despite losing on home turf, Vettel is convinced the result of the Italian Grand Prix will inspire Ferrari's workforce in Maranello to work harder for the rest of the year.
"We gave everything for the people out there. The support has been amazing and, despite the numbers, the gap, you can name the negatives but I'm very, very positive right now, to be honest. I know that people are going into the office tomorrow more committed than before. The spirit is there, we just need to keep it up. It's a journey, we see where it takes us.
"It's been a long way that the team has come from three years ago but we are nowhere near satisfied despite maybe having had a good season so far, it's not good enough. Ferrari needs to be at the front and Ferrari needs to be on top of everything. So that's where we want to go. For sure, Mercdes are giving us a very, very hard time, especially at the moment, but we'll see. It's a long journey still."