No matter what the metric used or the position held in the paddock, every verdict from Formula 1 testing was the same: Ferrari was ahead, and would arrive at the Australian Grand Prix as the favourite. In the past two years Ferrari has not even needed to have the fastest car to win in Melbourne, so the prospect of it holding an advantage over Mercedes is ominous.
But another victory in the season opener would not necessarily be an omen for Ferrari ending its title drought. After all, despite being defeated in each of the last two years in Australia, Mercedes has recovered to sweep both the drivers' and constructors' championship.
Ferrari is clearly enjoying a bounce under its new team principal Mattia Binotto. There is a morale boost within the team, he has begun to rebuild broken bridges with the media and has set out a clear position on team orders. All are areas that have undermined Ferrari in recent seasons, but this was low-hanging fruit for him to pick.