For nine minutes and 19 miles of the British Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton showed the crushing performance advantage that underpinned his victory and made liars of those who thought Mercedes was just a small margin ahead. Ferrari will have been terrified not only by its most comprehensive defeat of the season, but one totally out of phase with the relatively small margins that decided the previous nine races.
Hamilton's 0.547-second advantage in qualifying was one thing, Ferrari knows it's usually on the back foot on Saturdays. But when Hamilton put the hammer down for his only sustained attack of the race from lap 18 to 23, he extended his lead over Kimi Raikkonen from 4.3s to 10.6s - that's an advantage of a fraction over one second per lap. Ferrari's defeat was total, even before tyre problems turned a bad weekend even worse.
After finishing fifth in Azerbaijan and fourth in Austria, no matter that these were the consequence of a loose headrest and a struggle to bounce back from a gearbox penalty, it seemed Hamilton's championship challenge was unravelling through circumstances out of his control. If it was, Silverstone was the perfect place to put it back together.