Are McLaren guilty of glory runs using light fuel loads? Not wanting to build up my hopes too much at this early stage.
Well, McLaren have been 2nd fastest two days in a row now but I don't think anyone here believes that's genuinely representative of their ultimate pace.
It could be said that unlike some other teams McLaren have not had any issues holding them back (in terms of performance). In addition, I don't think McLaren are trying to sandbag or disguise their performance. They're just doing what gives them the best preparation.
Seems to me that we can expect the following pattern from McLaren each day:
Early morning: aero testing (very short runs with aero rakes and the like), typically on softer tyres
Late morning: short runs for testing setup changes, typically on harder tyres
Early afternoon: long runs, typically on harder tyres
Late afternoon: short runs, typically on softer tyres
It's considered that the best time of day for setting quick laps is late morning (assuming that the sun is out). Instead, McLaren have been running the 2nd hardest tyre at that point. They have run softer tyres late in the day but that's also the appropriate tyre to use at that point given the falling track temperatures. McLaren have been giving their drivers a wide range of situations to experience, rather than purely focusing on long runs.
In short, I don't think McLaren are going out of their way to set chart topping times. If other teams were doing the same as them, perhaps they'd simply ignore it. I don't think they're going out of their way to avoid setting good times either.
If McLaren were specifically going for lap times then we'd see them running with more DF (and drag) and doing their best times in the session just before lunch.
Edit I also don't remember any reports of the drivers giving the impression that they're driving the limits of the car. They've not had any spins or been into the gravel.
Edited by CPR, 19 February 2019 - 18:57.