For the organisers of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the traditional late-season slot comes as either a blessing or a curse.
In a close-run championship battle, the flat-out sweeps of the fastest circuit on the calendar provide a fitting challenge and thrilling racing towards deciding the championship.
In a championship blowout year, the Monza result is often of academic interest only. Although, during the Michael Schumacher era, the prospect of yet another Ferrari whitewash did little to dim the passion of the home fans.
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton pull away from the field © XPB/LAT
Sunday's Italian Grand Prix should have offered the best of both worlds to thetifosi - a resurgent Ferrari team driving home to a jubilant 1-2 finish, and inching ever closer to the McLaren pair leading the drivers' championship. Instead, McLaren proved to be spoilers - both on and off the track.