After its stunning showing in Malaysia last time out, Ferrari approaches this Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix with the weight of Formula 1 fans' expectations resting on its shoulders.
The headline laptimes from the first day of F1 running at the Shanghai circuit indicate what we already knew - that Mercedes still has a significant pace advantage over its nearest rival. Lewis Hamilton lapped over four tenths faster than Kimi Raikkonen on the softer tyre in the second free practice session - his ultimate margin of 0.443 seconds roughly 0.07s bigger than the advantage he held over the Finn at the same stage in Malaysia.
Where the Scuderia scored so heavily at Sepang, which ultimately allowed Sebastian Vettel to beat Hamilton in a straight fight, was maintaining strong pace over the longer runs in searing heat. The SF15-T is gentle on its tyres, and that translated to actually being quicker than Mercedes over a longer run last time out.