Sebastian Vettel feels Ferrari has not reached its full potential at Monza as it looks to take the challenge to the dominant Mercedes squad at the Italian manufacturer’s home race.

The Formula 1 world championship leader ended Friday practice at the Italian circuit third overall but just 0.140s off pace-setter Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes over a single lap. Despite Vettel calling his efforts a mixed day as he searched for balance with his SF70H, particularly in the heavy braking zones at Monza, the German driver feels if Ferrari can extract an optimum set-up he can challenge Mercedes this weekend and fight for Ferrari’s first home win since 2010.

“I’m not entirely happy because we had a bit of a mixed run with a lot of traffic and the virtual safety car,” Vettel said. “It wasn’t the ideal long run we were looking for but I guess it was the same for everyone.

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“It was not completely the day we wanted in dry conditions because of the mixed afternoon but all in all we have enough data to go through and improve a couple of things for tomorrow then we can be better.

“There are a couple of things that we need to do better like with the car balance and the stability under braking which is important around here to get the confidence. With the low downforce here you need to have the confidence to just throw the car in and stop thinking about it. We are not where I think we can be yet but I think we should be a bit better tomorrow.”