Ferrari's Bahrain Grand Prix was as close to worst-case scenario as the team is likely to suffer in Formula 1 this season. Disbelief must have descended on the pitwall when Sebastian Vettel spun while fighting Lewis Hamilton, in a grim replay of Vettel's many mistakes in battle last year.
One can only imagine the gut-wrenching, heart-sinking feeling that made Ferrari's despond even deeper when Charles Leclerc first reported the engine problem that eventually cost him victory.
Yet that loss has partly protected Ferrari from a dilemma. The shock of Leclerc's late defeat, the adulation and commiseration that flowed his way in the aftermath, and the inquest into the lost cylinder that deprived the 21-year old of a richly deserved first win in F1 has masked a problem that would have been harshly exposed had he won.