Thanks for the respectful comment. Don't get me wrong, I have no illusions about McLaren. I'm not expecting them to out-qualify the Mercs by 1.5seconds and dominate the championship, in fact I stated in the pecking order thread they would be better than the MP4-30, but not enough to score lower midfield points consistently.Phil wrote:I feel you're being a bit unfair to those being skeptical. Most (me included, I admit) are not pessimistic to a degree because they had trouble on one day - it's more because there are various little signs that are all too reminiscent of last year.superdowg316 wrote:Here's the important thing, and I know so as I've been inside motorsports: Lap times and how many laps cars do DOES NOT MATTER. The whole point of testing is trying something until it breaks or does something you want and getting a feel. Also important is every team is different. Mercedes are going for reliability and data collecting at the moment, which is why they're going so long each day. Sure, a fast laptime here and there is good, but it means nothing. Sauber were fastest in testing last year, the year before at the same circuit during mid season testing, Mac Chilton posted the fastest laptime of the whole day/testing session. McLaren are trying different things out on the engine to see what works and what doesn't and let's be fair, for a whole new engine layout after fixing it, their distance is very impressive .
I generally agree with you, we certainly shouldn't write them off. But I think looking at how testing went, I think we can agree that things aren't looking that promising - or as promising as most of us would want to see after their struggles in 2015.
If we look at Mercedes running, now that is a team that is seemingly on top of things. They've had a flawless 2014 and 2015 and this test shows a team in control. Does that mean they'll be quickest? Hardly. But at the very least, they are as efficient as they can be, getting the absolute maximum out of what they obviously set out to achieve.
Testing is very limited. Ideally, you want to gather as much data as possible, as these are one of the rare opportunities to see the 'package' and all the components you've built over winter running. Yes, it's better to have problems in testing than when the season starts, but losing an entire day sitting in the garage while your rivals are out running is not what you'd want. You want to be outthere, seeing your components work and gathering data on how well they work and how that data correlates to the simulations you've been running.
A team with more problems tells me that things are not running the way they should. And that in itself is worrying and why I am skeptical at this point. I'm not expecting miracles and they are up against very strong opposition that had a working car last year and where this year for most is a mere "evolution" of an already very strong package. McLaren-Honda doesn't have that luxury and everything I've seen so far does not suggest to me that they are on top of their game yet.
I don't think looking at all those signs and naming them make me a pessimist. If they had a working competitive package last year, I'd be more confident, but they didn't. Which is why I'm less concerned when Ferrari has an off day with issues - because they did have a competitive package last year - a baseline that did work.
I also have no problem with pessimism, when there's logic in it like what you have. But the amount of excessive, over-the-top pessimism is really grating, even cringe-worthy to an extent. Are we forgetting that last year they only had 380 laps throughout the entire pre-season testing? They've already managed 257 with 100km of filming under their belt and 4 days still left next week? If Alonso does another 122 lap day, then they're already at 379 laps. I think while McLaren are not yet the team they were in 2010-2012 or even the late 90's-mid 2000's, it's defiantly better than last year on all counts.
Let's wait to see what the MKII engine next week has in terms of performance and what the combined homologated engine is in Melbourne.