Ferrari have a unique aerodynamic detail which could make the difference
Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel peppered the top of the time-sheets in the first week of testing.
The key appears to lie in their interpretation of the rules around the sidepod of the car, the area closest to the driver which provides protection in the event of the crash.
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For safety and aesthetic reasons reasons, the FIA have banned teams from making changes to much of the area.
But Ferrari have a unique inlet on each side next to the driver's head which appears to allow them to regulate the airflow more efficiently and decrease the drag of the car, making it faster.
Such a revolutionary and effective change would usually be copied quickly by other teams.
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Ferrari have inlets on either side that help regulate airflow
However, to do so would mean an arduous and complete re-design of the car's chassis, which means Ferrari could have a significant advantage for much of the season.
In the past, Ferrari have struggled with aerodynamic changes while rivals Mercedes and Red Bull have excelled.
But given their advances over the off-season, president Sergio Marchionne is growing in confidence as the March 26 curtain-raiser approaches.
Big things are expected of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari this year
"It's nine years that we haven't won [the title] – this would be the 10th," Marchionne told Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
"It will end. There is still room to correct the problems.
"Ferrari has to go back to being unbeatable, as when [Michael] Schumacher was here.
"The new car is reliable, credible.
"It is a huge step forward.
"I've been following the results of the Barcelona test and things are going well.
"The drivers are happy.
"Objectives? Winning for sure, but when it happens I cannot say.
"But I'm happy with how the car goes – it's a better car than last year, and not just because they have changed the rules but with how it was designed and put on the track."