The 2018 Ferrari is a good grand prix car, no question. But what it isn't is the car to build on last year's run at the world championship - yet. This means Ferrari heads into the business end of the Australian Grand Prix weekend looking like the big three's number three.
Sebastian Vettel was upbeat after practice, but the facts of the first day of serious running this season don't paint an encouraging picture. Almost three-tenths off on one-lap pace, just over three-tenths down on race pace and behind customer team Haas, and aerodynamic experiments involving back-to-backing its 2018 front wing with a version of last year's are evidence that all is not well at Maranello.
There's no reason for panic, of course. Last season Ferrari recovered from an iffy Friday in Australia to win, but that was off the back of very promising pre-season testing. This winter has gone OK for Ferrari, but all has not been smooth and it's possible that in its eagerness to stretch up and grab onto the coattails of Mercedes, Ferrari has over-reached.