It's fatuous to talk about the chances of Sebastian Vettel striking back in the title race given it's surely now a question of when, not if, Lewis Hamilton clinches the crown. Besides, the Mercedes driver was fastest on Friday, so it's going to be another easy win for Hamilton, right?
Well, perhaps not, because there was a hidden battle going on under the surface of a mysterious day of practice for the United States Grand Prix. Anyone who thinks it's a done deal has jumped the gun for a multitude of reasons.
"Ferrari had a bit of a troubled day today, so maybe we haven't yet really seen where the opposition are at," said Mercedes technical director James Allison after the day's running at Austin was concluded. And he's probably right.