Lewis Hamilton can take the lead in the Formula One title race this week but Ralph Ellis warns Ferrari's engineering progress means it isn't a given...
"It is a great opportunity for Vettel, whose first ever Grand Prix win was at Monza back in 2008 when he was just a promising rookie with Toro Rosso, and backing him to be the race winner at [4.7] looks this weekend's value bet."
Sebastian Vettel is the man with the new £40m a year contract in his pocket. But you hope that somebody at Ferrari is also dishing out a few new deals to the engineers.
As the most gripping duel for years in Formula One moves towards what could be a thrilling climax, it is the techy guys behind the scenes who really deserve our praise for providing the entertainment.
Lewis Hamilton's win at Spa last weekend looked a given. I broke my rule for the season of not backing the odds-on driver because the circuit seemed so beautifully suited to his Mercedes and so wrong for Vettel's Prancing Horse.
Thankfully Lewis duly landed both pole position and the race win for me, but because he drove so brilliantly to defend across the final laps rather than because his car was so much better.
The Ferrari was around a full second off the pace at Silverstone but by the time they'd got to Spa it was pretty much neck and neck.
That makes this Sunday's Italian Grand Prix harder than ever to call because what should have been a second guaranteed Mercedes win in a row is now in the balance.
Monza is a massive race for Ferrari. It's their home circuit, the one where the Tifosi turn out in force to cheer the gleaming red racer. And while they wave their Prancing Horse flags, it's also a flag waver for the company's engineering expertise.
It's sometimes easy to forget that Ferrari are in Formula One not just to race, but to sell their products worldwide.
They have just released details, for instance, of the new Portofino model, a beautifully sleek 199mph top speed convertible (having seen the pictures I want one!). A day later emerged the first pictures of the racing bike they've designed in a new partnership with Bianchi (I want one of them too!).
So it has been a deep source of frustration that they haven't won at Monza since 2010, and while they have been on the podium the last two years they desperately need to get to the top step.
It presents a great opportunity for Vettel, whose first ever Grand Prix win was at Monza back in 2008 when he was just a promising rookie with Toro Rosso, and backing him to be the race winner at [4.7] looks this weekend's value bet.
Monza is a free flowing track like Silverstone and Spa which until now you'd expect to play into the Mercedes hands. Some 75 per cent of the circuit is driven on full throttle.
But there are also six heavy braking zones where the Ferrari will be stronger, and if Vettel can stay in touch with the straight line speed that his engineers have improved so much then he can come into his own on the corners.
In theory Hamilton, now just seven points behind in the Drivers Championship and [1.64] to win the title, should at least draw level at the top this weekend.
But even he knows he has a new threat. He was asked after winning in Spa why he didn't look happy and admitted: "I am happy but I know it isn't over." That's all down to those engineers.