Three wins in the last four races have seen Lewis Hamilton storm to the top of the F1 pile with the Mercedes engine proving the class of the field.
Rarely a season goes by in which Hamilton is not one of the main contenders and this season (along with Vettel), he is once again often proving too hot to handle for the rest of his competitors.
Despite this, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has been keeping the Englishman honest all season and his Ferrari has often looked the better overall package.
However, the development race throughout the season plays a major role and it appears Mercedes are edging it over their Italian rivals in what will prove critical as we enter the final seven races of the season.
This leads us to beg the question can Hamilton be stopped? On recent form, the suggestion is no, but with Hamilton, there is the distinct sense that we have been in this situation before and it has not always gone to plan.
2007 and 2016 title losses
Cast your mind back to 2016 when a midseason surge by the Stevenage native saw him overhaul his teammate Nico Rosberg in the Championship standings before a string of bad luck saw him lose the advantage and with it, the title.
Also, in 2007 when Hamilton was enjoying a fine debut season, he had the title all but sewn up with a couple of races to go until a call by his pit crew to leave him out for an extra lap on already worn tyres at the Chinese Grand Prix caused him to stack it on pit entry, and with it his title hopes as Kimi Raikkonen surged to the title.
That is not to say it will happen again as Hamilton also has three world titles to his name but it is important not to get too carried away by Hamilton’s comfortable victory last time out at the Italian Grand Prix.
Where Hamilton and his team superb, their main rivals Ferrari had an off weekend but that said, title rival Sebastian Vettel still brought his red care home in an impressive third place despite starting a disappointing eighth on the grid.
Mercedes Power to the fore
Monza is a high-speed track and all about maximum power output on the straights. there are three teams on the grid currently utilising Mercedes power, Mercedes themselves, Williams and Force India.
Unsurprisingly all three teams performed well with Ferrari power lagging behind a little on the vast straights of the Italian track.
Perhaps Monza was not a true reflection of overall performance for the remaining teams but Hamilton will not care as the points are worth the same.
Now Hamilton has the lead, it is up to him to hold onto it. He has spent so much time in the last 18 months trying to claw back a lead rather than extending one that now we will see how much he has learnt from a fraught 2016.
If he has taken on board 2016’s lessons then simply put, he will be unstoppable and will march to a fourth world title. If not, then the door is wide open, and Vettel is not the kind of driver to let an opportunity pass him by.