F1’s official tyre supplier had a tumultuous and highly controversial 2013 season, but so far the emphasis this season has been on the radical new rules and quiet engines.
“The problem is that Pirelli is not helping us to attack and enjoy driving,” Mexican Perez, who drives for Force India, is quoted by Russia’s f1news.ru.
“We have lost downforce compared to last year and now we have to drive very hard compounds,” he added.
“It seems that Pirelli is worried about the graining of the front tyres, but if you look at the difference between us and GP2, I think you have to be concerned that their cars are so close now in laptime.
“Our budgets are at least eight times more than the GP2 teams, but the speed difference is only one and a half seconds, or two seconds. It’s not enough,” said Perez.
“I think Pirelli needs to be more aggressive because on Sunday we are all going to just follow each other. We will have a boring race and that’s not good for the sport,” he added.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso also thinks Pirelli’s selection for Barcelona is “too conservative”, and according to Perez the pair are not alone in their thinking.
“At the drivers’ briefing everyone complained that the cars are sliding and it’s difficult to have a good level of grip,” said Perez.
“Hopefully, Pirelli will listen and react also to the fans to make the races more interesting.”
Pirelli’s Paul Hembery, however, hit back by insisting that complaining drivers are just making “an excuse” for their own situations.
“It’s the same for everyone,” he said. “We had to take a different approach this year as the cars are completely different.” (GMM)
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “When the teams analyse the data tonight, they will decide between a two or a three stop race, as in many cases the simulation data suggests almost identical race times between the two approaches. As ever, the first stint on full fuel will be key to this. Qualifying in Barcelona went very much the way that people expected, even though the teams did not test here this year and two red flags interrupted the session, which clearly affected qualifying strategies as well. Track conditions between free practice this morning and qualifying were very different, which obviously had an effect on the grip levels, but these are the conditions we can expect for the race tomorrow as well. Historically, the driver starting from pole here has the race win very much stacked in his favour. However, Fernando Alonso’s famous win here last year from fifth on the grid shows just what is possible with a good race strategy. The tyres are the same for everybody and Formula One is a meritocracy: so it will simply be down to which teams and drivers are able to get the most out of them.”
The Pirelli strategy predictor:
According to our calculations, the fastest way to approach the 66-lap race is with three stops. Start on the medium tyre, change to the medium on lap 20, medium again on lap 38, and hard on lap 54.
A two-stop strategy could also be possible. In which case: start on the medium, change to medium on lap 22, then change to hard on lap 45.
Fastest compounds in FP3:
Rosberg – 1m25.887s – Medium New
Hamilton – 1m26.756s – Hard Used
Alonso – 1m27.188s – Medium New