The weak Pirelli tyres mean that there will be 3 or 4 pit-stops. This doesn’t mean ‘more over-taking’.
It does mean more confusion, and does mean that there is spectrum for intelligent strategy, as well as driver and team adaptation.
After the 2nd or 3rd stop (whichever number of stops that everyone must make due to tyre degradation), there will always be a ‘who blinks first’ on the final stop. Will it be better to pit and have quick tyres, to ber over 1 – 1.5+ seconds a lap faster than everyone, or, save a 25 second pit-stop?
If the tyres are that ‘bad’, I’d say the former. Change and hammer the tyres for the last 15/18 laps or so.
The wings and KERS will make it easier to over-take slower cars, if you come back out in 6th place and need to get back to fight for 2nd or 3rd.
McLaren need to fix their problems to make the season more interesting.
Maybe Bernie E in all of his mad suggestions (none of which he means, he is just a publicist) should suggest that McLaren get an extra 7 days testing to build parity with Red Bull and make races more ‘fun’?
Even then, would it be enough to help them?
Lewis says that it feels better than last year’s car BUT still lacks even more downforce than last year lacked. So there must be something good on the car, something to build and work on. The question remains that Red Bull still have 4 days of testing, just as McLaren do, and Ferrari also seem to have their affairs completely in order.
In Monza last year McLaren made a huge error in Q3, which led to Lewis’ stupid mistake — they put him out right behind the slower Mark Webber. Totally stupid and cost him a hot lap.
With the tyres even more tempestuous, it is these kind of mistakes that they can’t afford to make again this year.
This is a colossal 4 days of testing in the history of McLaren – playing catch-up for the first several races (and first few hundred points) is not something they will be able to make back later.