When Formula 1 left Barcelona behind and packed its freight off to Australia, Ferrari's electrifying testing pace suggested maybe, just maybe, Mercedes might face a genuine fight to retain its iron grip on the world championship in 2017.
Kimi Raikkonen set a scorching test pace, without even using the softest available tyre compound; Sebastian Vettel was so confident in his Ferrari that he felt he could afford to play mind games by deliberately lifting off the throttle on his quickest laps.
The Ferrari looked to be the best of 2017's new breed of F1 cars on the track too - stable, driveable, fast, consistent. It set the pace in longer running as well, and looked in genuinely decent shape ahead of the first race weekend. After stumbling in 2016, the Prancing Horse looked to have its gallop back.