Sergio Perez has lashed out at Pirelli and blamed them for causing drivers to be too conservative on laps, something he claims is “not good for the sport”.
Stephane Richelmi took pole position for the GP2 race with a fastest lap time of 1.29.293 – a time which would have put him ahead of Maldonado and the four Caterham and Marussia drivers on the grid for tomorrow’s F1 race.
“When you look at the difference with GP2 I think it’s a little bit embarrassing that the GP2 cars are so close to us with the budgets they have,” Perez said this morning. “Pirelli needs to be more aggressive on their compounds because on Sunday you will see a race where everyone follows each other and it will be just a boring race. It’s not good for the sport.”
“We have less downforce than last year but I think the compound effect is far too big. Pirelli is not helping us at all to be able to push and enjoy more the driving. I think they overreacted last year to the issues they had with tyre delaminations.
“I hope they will listen to us. All the drivers in the briefing we have are complaining we are sliding all the time and difficult to find any grip. I hope Pirelli reacts to this, listens to the drivers and the fans, and does something to have more interesting racing, because like this it will be a boring Sunday for the fans.”
Last year, Pirelli suffered a number of problems with their tyres, most notably at the British Grand Prix where three drivers, including race-leader Hamilton, suffered tyre explosions. Towards the end of the race, Perez also suffered one and he suffered a second delamination in Korea after Pirelli had reconstructed their tyres to make them safer.
However, Pirelli’s Motorsport director, was quick to rubbish Perez’s accusations, and said that Pirelli did not over-react to the tyre crisis last year, during which the drivers threatened to boycott races.
“We haven’t overreacted; we had to come into this year with a different approach,” Hembery said. “The cars are very different, a lot of wheel spin. 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 into a season with everything perfect with a brand new car. If we could change things through the year and had a choice of 12 compounds, you can do a whole lot of other things, but essentially you have three compounds to cover 50 degrees track temperature down to 15.
“Sometimes you’ll be compromised, sometimes, like today, you’re probably in the window where things are working better. That’s the nature of the business.
“It’s pathetic as an excuse quite frankly,” the Briton concluded.
Pirelli were drafted in for 2011 to make races more exciting: previous supplier Bridgestone had tyres that were so durable, only one pit stop was necessary. However, fans and pundits alike have complained about the chess-like racing we have in contemporary Formula One, where a driver must seek permission to overtake another driver in case he hurts his tyres while doing so.
Image courtesy of Force India.