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“Grazie for getting the package ready,” said Sebastian Vettel to his team after his dominant drive at Spa took him past Alain Prost’s 51-win marker, “Grazie gruppo motori.”
And it was Maranello’s motor department’s work that seemed to be catching Mercedes’ attention. The Brixworth power unit group had delivered a very significant upgrade for Spa – but Ferrari’s seemed even better. A downbeat Hamilton afterwards referred to Ferrari’s “tricks with their engine”, which he later clarified as “Just a word for something special,” but it carried the tone of competitive paranoia.