Although little can truly be noted from times set during testing, Valtteri Bottas reckons Ferrari are looking great on “both short runs and long runs”.
That, though, means very little.
While it is easy to note the tyres teams are using for each run, no one watching from outside the garage is aware of the fuel loads or engine modes.
Bottas, however, says no matter what Ferrari are doing, they are looking good.
“They do seem very strong,” he told reporters at the Circuit de Catalunya.
“No matter which kind of fuel load or engine modes they’re running, whatever you try to correct that for in any case that they are quick. Both short runs and long runs.
“So I think we feel at this point they’re going to be a bit ahead.”
As for where Mercedes are in the pecking order, Bottas says it is still too early to make such assessments.
He does, however, feel that this year’s in-season development war will be what decides the title.
“Obviously it’s impossible to make detailed calculations. It is very early days.
“With the new rules it’s going to be a big development race.
“We don’t think anyone is going with this type of car in this test to the first race, including us, we do have new parts coming for the first race.
“[But] we can’t really rely on that it’s going to be an upgrade. We do need to, even with this spec of car, to try and make it better and quicker.”
Bottas’ team-mate Lewis Hamilton agrees.
“Ferrari are very, very strong right now as you have seen, they are racking up great mileage as well,” he said.
“It appears that they have a better package than they had last year which means it is going to be even more of a challenge for us this year.”