Asked to assess McLaren's dry pace, he replied: "Very competitive for us, we were very strong in P1 and in P3 on all the tyres and on race fuel loads in particular."
Michael declined to compare McLaren's likely race speed with top qualifiers Ferrari and Red Bull, but said: "All I know is what we did and what we normally do compared to them and all our data shows that we should have a very strong race car tomorrow."
What do you guys think forms the basis of this analysis?
I would think a few bits of information would be possible:
- From qualifying you (should) get basically a no fuel load top speed. From there you could use your own simulation data to estimate the fuel loads during practice based on the top speeds. So if Vmax in Qual was 325 km/h and you know 40 kg hurts the speed by 5 km, a top speed of 315 km/h would imply a 80 kg fuel load. DRS does mess this about though.
- That said, you also know the rough fuel consumption so you can plot the top speeds against the lap numbers in a run to weed out anomilies. Or if you have lots of people handy you sit one where the speed traps are recording DRS open or shut.
- With that same info (DRS being on or off) you can correct the laptime data (based on your own simulation of DRS effect) to get a degradation for the tyre and fuel load during a race run.
- If someone has the same engine as you, you can get an idea on their drag level (ie Renault seem quicker in a straight line than RBR) and estimate their downforce or L/D ratio.
- I am sure they have spotters checking which tyres are on the car based on the sidewall markings to keep track of laps.
- Are the speed values on the screen during the TV feed true or is there a bit of scrambling going on to protect the innocent? I noticed some cars have speed on their dash so if the teams can access that can provide some good data.
- Are there mini-sectors on the track? The three sectors are common, but there are usually lots of timing loops in a racetrack to give position information etc, do the teams have access to that?
What else? I am sure I am missing some obvious ones!