Team Principal Mattia Binotto says it is far too early to brand Ferrari's new F1-75 as one of 2022's fastest cars, despite topping the timing tower on day two of pre-season testing in Barcelona.
Charles Leclerc ended Thursday with the fastest time, a 1:19.689, having improved on the 1:20.546 set by his teammate Carlos Sainz in the same machinery earlier that day.
Ferrari and McLaren have traded places at the top of the timesheets throughout F1's stay at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with the two teams not only looking fast but also reliable.
However, Binotto has moved to play down Ferrari's stellar pace, warning the loyal Tifosi that there is still a long way to go until lights out in Bahrain next month.
"I think it is very, very early days," he said, speaking to selected members on the media that included RacingNews365.com.
"[All of the teams] are very close, which was one of the objectives of the new regulations. I think it is impressive to see that we are all so close from the start, and we are all looking very different. There are so many different designs and shapes, which is great for F1.
"When you look at the lap times, there will obviously be differences, but the differences are not as huge as the differences in design."
Lap count is more important than pace for Ferrari
Ferrari are still very much learning all they can about their car, with that knowledge building lap-by-lap.
While Binotto may be keen to play down the hype being generated by his car's pace, he could not hold back his delight as their growing lap count.
Ferrari ended Wednesday with more laps on the board (153) than any other team and repeated the trick on Thursday (150).
"It is always great to have good consistency when running, because at least there's time to learn the new cars," Binotto explained.
"When you're doing a lot of laps, you're certainly collecting data, so I am so far pleased by the fact that we are so far many laps down, which is important for us."
Binotto proud of the F1-75 after "difficult" years
Regardless of the pace that Ferrari's latest car may or may not have, Binotto spoke with pride when asked for his thoughts on the F1-75, after what he described as two tough seasons for his team during 2020 and 2021.
"This is a great team who have been very united over the last couple of years," he added.
"There have been difficult moments for us and when you're in these situations you try to remain united and do your best, but it is never easy.
"When I look at the new car, I think that it is very beautiful. It's great for me, pride, because I am proud of the team itself. It's really a pleasure to work with all of them. It's the way we are working, which is our vision."
Video: Ferrari present their new F1 car!
Check out Ferrari's new F1 challenger, the F1-75, which was presented to the world during a special launch ceremony.