For Ferrari, the Italian Grand Prix was one of the few races this season in which they have maximised their potential.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished in third and fourth in Monza, although an excellent start had seen them running second and third as polesitter Lewis Hamilton reversed down the field in the opening metres.
Ferrari once again took a different strategy to the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who are separated by two points at the top of the standings, as the Prancing Horse opted for a two-stop strategy while the Silver Arrows opted for a one-stopper.
In truth, Ferrari would have been powerless to stop Hamilton’s damage limitation mission whatever strategy they were on, such was the dominance of Mercedes all weekend.
Ferrari’s big boss Sergio Marchionne has labelled an error-strewn season as a failure, with Maranello squad unable to build on a strong 2015 showing that saw Vettel chalk up three wins and in parts look like challenging Mercedes.
He won’t have used that adjective based on races such as these, where an unspectacular performance belied what was a solid result given the drop in relative pace and off track turbulence.
Marchionne will have been referencing the race race-costing calamities in Australia and Canada and failure to deal with the rise of Red Bull.
Red Bull still have an upper hand in the Constructors’ Championship despite Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen only finishing sixth and seventh on a track they expected to struggle at.
They believe they’ll be stronger at the next round in Singapore, where Vettel dominated last year to take one of those three victories as Mercedes toiled.
How Ferrari could do with a repeat of their 2015 Singapore success this time around.
Image courtesy of Scuderia Performante
Jack Prentice @JPrentice8