Perez finished first practice in ninth place, before setting the 16th fastest time in the afternoon session. After Friday’s running, he said Formula 1’s pace compared to feeder series GP2 is “embarrassing”, claiming the main reason is thanks to Pirelli’s current approach.
“The problem is that Pirelli is not helping us to help us to push to enjoy more of the driving,” he told media after practice two. “We have a lack of downforce on the car ourselves, but Pirelli is bringing very hard compounds and I think they were a bit worried about the front graining.
“When you look at the difference with the GP2 cars and ourselves it is a little bit embarrassing that the GP2 cars are so close to us. Pirelli needs to be more aggressive on their compounds. You will see that on Sunday everyone will follow each other and it is going to be a very boring race. It is not good for the sport.”
Perez also said that he hopes Pirelli responds to and reacts to the complaints of the drivers. However, Hembery swiftly reacted to the criticism. “It’s pathetic really as an excuse, quite frankly,” he told reporters at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. “They’ve all got the same.”
He also commented on claims by the Mexican driver that Pirelli has overreacted to the troubles from 2013: “No, we haven’t overreacted. We had to come in to this year with a different approach; the cars are different, there’s a lot of wheelspin, so it’s not as if we can change everything during the year. We managed a couple of test sessions and you’re not going to jump in to a season with everything perfect with a brand new car.
“If we could change things through the year, if we had a choice of 12 compounds, then you can do a whole lot of other things. These essentially three compounds – because the supersoft is often only a street circuit generally – so you only have three compounds to cover from 50 degrees track temperature to 15. Sometimes you’ll be compromised, sometimes like today you’re probably in the window when things are working better and that’s the nature of the business.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic