Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team mates are seeing a red mist as their Ferrari rivals accelerate away from them in the F1 championship.
In a season where F1 has been revitalised by new owners, new rules and new cars, Ferrari have stepped up several gears to take the chequered flag in Australia and Bahrain, while Hamilton grabbed victory in China.
But after three grand prix, Sebastian Vettel has dominated the track with his new car – with two firsts and a closer than expected second behind Hamilton under his belt.
Vettel and Ferrari look like they are serious contenders after Mercedes and Hamilton have set the pace over recent seasons.
Mercedes has fastest car
F1 geeks will judge Mercedes as having the fastest car over a single lap, but they overheat in a race and Ferrari has the stamina to hang in to the end.
But both drivers have points but both could easily have won all three races with the thinnest of margins between them.
Whether Mercedes have slipped with a less effective car or Ferrari have some secret technology under the hood is open to question and is a point unlikely to be answered until much later in the season.
Ferrari are not saying much. Their news conferences are short and to the point without any hype or bragging.
Ferrari embrace changes
“Last year was a very good year for us. It wasn’t good in terms of results, don’t get me wrong, but I think for the team, getting together, a lot of things that had changed now seem to start clicking,” said Vettel.
“It helps when straight from the box, in testing, we had a good feeling. We looked reasonably competitive.
“I’m really enjoying it. The car has been a pleasure. Things start to click and hopefully that sort of success now in the first couple of races helps us to build up some sort of momentum that maybe Mercedes had in the past and the last couple of years. They will be the ones to beat.”
The next head to heads, in Russia next weekend and Spain on May 12-14, will give both teams a chance to consolidate and fans an indication of how the season is likely to go.