He didn't get the race victory in Japan on Sunday, but Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari are "going in the right direction" and actually beating expectations.
After their highs in Singapore where Vettel took pole position and claimed the race victory with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen P3, "normal service" resumed at Suzuka as Mercedes were back to their best.
They locked out the front row of the grid and then Lewis Hamilton led home another 1-2 with Vettel forced to settle for the last step on the podium while Raikkonen was P4.
Despite not being able to match Merc this weekend, Vettel was nevertheless happy with Ferrari's display this year as the team have won three races and are second in the Constructors' standings.
"Great to be back on the podium here – I think this is my favourite race," the four-time World Champion, who has won the Japanese GP five times, said.
"Unfortunately I didn't get a bigger trophy today! We tried. It was interesting to see those two fighting in the first corner but overall I'm very happy with the race today.
"We are going in the right direction – we knew all season these guys would be difficult to beat, but I think we are much better than people expected."