Ferrari will be feeling more nervous than any other Formula One team as the month of August drags interminably by.

Its chances of winning the world championship hang as much on the forthcoming decision of the FIA World Motor Sport council as they do the on-track efforts of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

In the immediate run-up to next month’s Italian GP at Monza, Ferrari’s representatives will be subjected to further intense grilling over the issue of whether or not they illegally applied team orders when Massa and Alonso switched positions in last month’s German GP at Hockenheim.

In typically theatrical fashion, the sport’s governing body have timed this hearing to ensure it has maximum theatrical effect only a few days before the most important race on Maranello’s calendar.

And needless to say, in line with long-established F1 paranoia, there are those within the racing community who feel that the ultimate verdict – whatever that might be - will somehow reveal how well disposed FIA president Jean Todt is to the team he steered to five world championships with Michael Schumacher.

In fact, I understand that this concern seems to be misplaced. I am told that Todt will not chair the FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting, so the sport’s governing body is going out of its way to ensure that not only is everything fair, but is also seen to be equitable and balanced.

To be fair to Todt, although many of his critics believed that he might follow the the path mapped out by Max Mosley during his tenure as FIA president, the Frenchman has demonstrated a defiantly independent streak which should come as no surprise to those who worked with him at Ferrari.

Whether Ferrari has an easy ride in front of the World Motor Sport Council is another matter altogether.

The issue of guilt is not the main consideration being examined. The Hockenheim stewards were quite satisfied that the team illegally imposed team orders. It’s now just a question of whether the penalty of a $100,000 fine is as far as it goes.

I really would be surprised if it turns out to be disqualification from the German GP or a points deduction. But it could be, and if it is, then expect the squeals of anguish from the Place de la Concorde to be easily heard all the way to Maranello.