Sergio Perez says Pirelli is to blame for the “embarrassing” gap between F1 lap times and those in GP2 in Spain.
Lewis Hamilton was quickest on Friday with a best time of 1:25.524, but behind Mercedes the quickest lap was a 1:26.509 from Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull. That compares to Stephane Richelmi's GP2 pole time of 1:29.293 – which would have been quick enough for 17th fastest in FP2 – and Perez says Pirelli being too conservative is the main reason for the close gap.
Asked by Crash.net
if he found this season boring from a driver's point of view, Perez replied: “It's not boring, but the problem is that Pirelli is not helping us at all.
“It is not helping us to push, to enjoy the driving. We have a lack of downforce on the cars compared to last year but they are also bringing very hard compounds. I think they were a bit worried about the front graining, but when you look at the difference with the GP2 I think it's a little bit embarrassing that the GP2 cars are so close to us with the budgets that they have.
“We have at least eight times the budget of a GP2 team so to be only a second, a second and a half or two seconds quicker is a bit embarrassing. Pirelli needs to be more aggressive with the compounds because on Sunday you are going to have a race where everyone follows each other and it is going to be a boring race which is not good for the sport.”
Asked if it was just the tyres that caused the gap, Pere replied: “No, I mean of course we have an issue with the downforce because we have less downforce than last year, but I think Pirelli's compound affect is far too big.”
And Perez believes qualifying will be crucial because he expects overtaking to be extremely tough on race day.
“With the compounds that Pirelli brought here they are too conservative. You are sliding around. So when you are following a car it is very difficult. So I think on Sunday due to the compounds that Pirelli brought we are going to have a very boring race.”