Pirelli has hit back at Sergio Perez’s criticism of their compound choices for the Spanish Grand Prix, which the Mexican described as “embarrassing”.
Speaking after practice on Friday, the Force India driver said he believed Pirelli had been too conservative with their choices of the medium and hard compounds.
He compared F1 to GP2 and said the difference in pace between the two was “embarrassing” for him and for the sport.
“Pirelli is not helping us at all,” he said. “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.”
Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time, a 1:25.524 during FP2, compared to GP2 pole sitter Stephane Richelmi’s 1:29.293. However Perez was far close to the GP2 pace with his 1:29.129.
“A second and a half or two seconds quicker [than GP2] 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.”
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery described Perez’s comments a “pathetic excuse” and denied they’ve been cautious with their approach to the weekend.
“It’s pathetic really as an excuse, quite frankly,” he said. “They’ve all got the same [tyres].
“No, we haven’t overreacted,” he added. “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.”