Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel left the Belgian Grand Prix just seven points apart in the World Championship standings.
Hamilton’s win means that should he win ahead of Vettel in Monza then the two would be level-pegging after the European season.
Ferrari showed their teeth through the race though and arguably looked every bit as quick on raceday on a track that was supposed to suit Mercedes.
Monza again looks favourable to the Silver Arrows, but were Ferrari to take a home win it wouldn’t exactly upset the formbook.
Vettel will be able to give Ferrari quite a detailed analysis of the Mercedes rear end having spent 44 laps with it in full view at the Belgian Grand Prix.
His rear-gunner Kimi Raikkonen was hampered by a 10-second stop/go penalty for failing to slow for double-waved yellow flags.
Following a Safety Car on lap 30 to retrieve the various bits of Sergio Perez’s Force India that had been strewn across the circuit after he once again clashed with teammate Esteban Ocon, the damage to the Finn was neutralised.
Raikkonen and Vettel have both extended their stays at Ferrari, suggesting that the Scuderia want to maintain consistency with their driver line-up.
Ferrari have made a habit of ending hoodoos in 2017 and the Italian Grand Prix – their home race – offers another chance to break another duck.
Victory for the Prancing Horse would be their first in Northern Italy for seven years since Fernando Alonso won in his first visit as the crowd favourite. They certainly have not been as competitive since then.
Mercedes have a small edge in outright engine power following an upgrade for Belgium, but there is still little to choose over a race distance as Ferrari have also made steps with their bodywork.
Should Vettel leave Italy a points advantage still intact, his title chances will look healthier than at any other point this season.