While sections of the media insist on suggesting that Charles Leclerc should be team leader at Ferrari, Sebastian Vettel believes that if Mercedes is to be beaten, he and his teammate must work together.
Last week witnessed a perfect example, when the German, though clearly struggling, was able to hold up a charging Lewis Hamilton for several laps as he pursued Leclerc, giving the youngster precious seconds that were to mean the difference between winning and losing come race end.
Speaking at Monza today, amidst the media praise for Leclerc, Vettel insisted that the pair must not be fighting one another but working together for the good of the team.
"Our car is not where we want it to be," said the German. "We don't have the car and the ability to win every race so far, and that is our objective. So it serves if we push in the same direction, because I believe one day we will have that car and then we can fight it out.
"From a team point of view, I think the most important thing is that we work together, not against each other," he continued, "otherwise it would be a bit of a waste of energy.
"Obviously we've started off in a good place for the second half and hopefully we can keep that up," he added. "But we know, being realistic, that Mercedes are the clear favourite. They've been in a position to win every race this year. That's something we haven't been, and we need to get there. That's the point."
"There are signs that we are aware of and put us in a good position," he added, "but I think we have to be carefully optimistic and realistic.
"There are a lot of elements during a Grand Prix that can make a difference. One lap in qualifying is one thing, but obviously there are a lot of laps on Sunday, plus the weather, plus... plus... plus...
"It's difficult to predict but certainly I think here is the time to, sort of, over deliver.
"It's a big weekend, so hopefully we can make it count this time. I think we have a good chance so we'll see. We're ready."
Asked the biggest difference between Leclerc and his previous teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, the German smiled and replied: "More words".