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.