Mercedes is fastest, you don't need AUTOSPORT to tell you that. Even though the team endured a tougher Friday at Shanghai that it has been used to, the car that has walked the first three races remains the one to beat.
But Ferrari's speed was eye-catching. Fernando Alonso was fastest in the morning session, fastest on medium tyre pace in the afternoon by just over half-a-second and ultimately just 0.141s slower than Lewis Hamilton's fastest time.
So does that mean that all is suddenly well at Maranello? The adage that if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, applies here. For while Ferrari does not look as bad as it did in Bahrain, a closer look at the times suggests that today might have been more about a few positive headlines for new team principal Marco Mattiacci rather than a remarkable turnaround.
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