Ferrari: Mercedes not used to taking punches like us

MONZA, Italy -- Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has called on his team to keep applying the pressure on Mercedes because the world champions are not used to taking "punches".

Sebastian Vettel claimed a comfortable win at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, prompting Lewis Hamilton to suggest the Italians have got some "trick things" on their car. Ferrari is hoping to claim its first Italian Grand Prix victory since 2010 this weekend and Arrivabene believes that would be the perfect way to turn the screws in the title fight.

"They are not used to it," Arrivabene said at Milan's F1 Festival this week. "In the last few years we were with our heads held low, we took punches right and left, but we always got up.

"We're used to it. They are not, so the speech made to the boys is simple: let's keep them under pressure. Sooner or later, when we reach them [Mercedes], we are the aggressive ones who have taken them [the punches] and we know how bad it is.

"Now it's time to give them."

Hamilton and Mercedes hold a narrow advantage in the drivers' and constructors' championships, respectively. Arrivabene says Ferrari cannot take its eye of the bigger picture in a season which culminates at the end of November.

"It's a recovery but we're still behind. We have to put this in our heads that if you win a race, you have not won the championship, and that is our goal. We must put pressure on Mercedes, who are not accustomed to it."