Sebastian Vettel was pleased with Ferrari's "solid session" on Friday and again stressed the importance of focusing on their own results instead of looking at rivals.
The big question ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix was whether or not Vettel and Ferrari can follow up their Malaysian Grand Prix victory with another win at Shanghai.
As was the case at Sepang, Ferrari played second fiddle to Mercedes during the practice sessions, but the Scuderia will have been encouraged by their pace on the longer runs as they were right up there.
Vettel, though, focused on his own "homework", but he is hopeful the team can take a step forward come Saturday.
"Generally I feel happy in the car," he said. "I think we can improve it, usually that's what the Friday is for so ideally I would have loved to have done more laps. All in all it was a solid session for the team as well, I think we can do a step forward tomorrow and then we can see what we can do.
"Don't forget, first of all, it's only the third race of the season, second of all, it's a completely different track, different conditions which are new for everyone. Therefore the most important thing for us is to look after ourselves and then go step by step. Today is Friday, it's the day you do your homework, and that's what we tried to do."
When asked if Ferrari could challenge Mercedes for pole position come Saturday, the four-time World Champion replied: "Well, it will be very close, [Mercedes] were very strong today in both sessions and all the runs. I think for us the most important [thing] is to do a step overnight, I think there is a couple of things we can improve on and then we will see where it takes us. Priority number one is to be right behind and if we have the chance to fight them, we will try, if not we have to make sure nobody gets ahead of us."