• IN WORDS: Valtteri Talks Team Spirit and Birthday Presents

Our Fast Finn looks ahead to this weekend's Italian Grand Prix...

'We are not standing still'

Sebastian Vettel's commanding victory at Spa-Francorchamps proved just how strong the Ferrari package is, but Valtteri says that hasn't impacted the motivation and spirit within the team.

"In Spa, we definitely saw Ferrari were a little bit quicker than us on Sunday," Valtteri explained. "Sebastian kind of had control of the race and they had the upper hand there.

"We really need to improve our package to win this Championship. We are very motivated. Worried for me is the wrong word, we know the fact that it is going to be a big battle until the end of the year and we accept the situation that we need to improve the car in all areas.

"The working spirit is really good, we are not standing still that's for sure. The feeling is very good in the team.

"I think we have improved the whole package, we also had a new engine in Spa which was an improvement.

"During the summer, Ferrari made big gains with the Power Unit. Now they are the quickest car on the straights. It suggests they will be in front here as well."

'You never know what can happen'

Valtteri celebrated his 29th birthday on Tuesday and admits a win would be the perfect present.

"I haven't won a race this year so far, so a race win for sure," he says. "I'm approaching the end of the year with the mentality to try to win races and if I am not able, I will not score the maximum points possible.

"So, I really want those good results. At the moment I am a bit too far from the points' leaders Lewis and Sebastian but it is F1, and you never know what can happen.

"I just keep pushing and later on, we will see if I still have a chance or not. For me, there is no point at all in giving up.

"I want the good results and when I get them, it's good for the points for me."

'That really motivates us'

While the targets and goals of the team have shifted this season, with the more intense title battle, Valtteri believes that hasn't impacted the drive and work ethic of the team.

"It hasn't changed the dynamics in the team," he explains. "It's definitely motivating us even more than before, but we need to work hard, we need to improve, and we want to.

"It's not like it wasn't the case before. But, when the team had the best car we set our own target to keep improving, always having a clear goal what we are working for.

"Now the goal is a quicker car and a quicker team. That really motivates us. I can't see any difference in the team spirit or team dynamic. We are still working hard."