Websta wrote:The fact that they managed a two stopper in China and won by 20 seconds suggests that they have improved their tyre wear significantly.
yes but the point stands. Merc might have hit the center of the sweet spot. Brawn said in Autosport that the reason Merc could run quick AND long stints is that they got the tyres spot on. He was quite vocal after Malaysia too that they set the car up wrong in thr first two races, overheating them in Melbourne (with Sunday relatively warmer than Friday) and underheating them in Malaysia (with Sunday relatively colder than Friday).
The whole point of Ferndal's narrow window comment is that if they get the setup spot on, Merc is quick, and has no wear/deg issues. If they don't, they will hit tyre issues once again.
I think I mispoke slightly - my comments weren't directed specifically at Ferndal and the narrow performance gap comment. I thought that all
the cars have very specific tyre performance requirements anyway (RB7 at the Nurburgring last year comes to mind) so I wouldn't expect it to be a problem that only affects Merc AMG.
What I don't understand is all the talk about Merc's fundamental tyre issues that I've read after the Chinese GP, my point being that if Merc had a fundamental problem then I don't think they could have found such strong performance. To still have been ahead of a 3 stopping Button whilst on a 2 stop strategy is testament to that. The fact that they couldn't find similar performance in Malaysia under similar low track temperature conditions suggests that they did, as you mentioned, just screw up their set-ups.
I am by no means an expert on tyre wear though - actually I know virtually nothing about it - so if there is significant non-linearity between the effects of surface temperature and lateral loading on tyre wear then perhaps they will have bad tyre degradation in Bahrain despite their good performance at the high lateral load/low track temp Chinese GP. I fear I may be rambling (I had a few drinks with dinner).
Now, if Merc gets it right again in Bahrain... That means they can do it in the Hot and the not so Hot (China). And McL has to play catch up again.
And mark my words: If they do - we'll be in for a cracker! Bahrain will tell.....
Absolutely! Fingers crossed