• Spanish GP - FP2

Gap to GP2 'embarrassing' - Perez

ESPN Staff
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Sergio Perez says the gap between Formula One and GP2 is embarrassing at the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend after Stephane Richelmi's pole position in GP2 qualifying would have been quick enough to register the 17th fastest time in F1's second practice session.

F1 cars have shed downforce under this year's regulations and are also heavier, which will contribute to slower speeds this year, especially at a circuit like Barcelona's. But Perez believes Pirelli's tyre compounds for this weekend's race are too hard and as a result will provide boring racing on Sunday.

"The problem is that Pirelli is not helping us at all to be able to push and enjoy the driving more," he said. "We have a lack of downforce on the cars compared to last year and we have very hard compounds. I think they [Pirelli] were a bit worried about the front graining, but when you look at the difference to GP2 I think it's a little bit embarrassing that those cars are so close to us.

"I think we have at least eight times more budget than a GP2 team, so to be only a second and half to two seconds quicker is a bit embarrassing. I think Pirelli need to be more aggressive with the compounds because we are going to have a race where everybody follows each other and it will be a boring race that's not good for the sport.

"I hope they listen to us. All the drivers in the briefing are complaining that we go around and we are sliding because it's difficult to find any grip. I hope Pirelli react to this and listen more to the drivers and the fans and do something to have more interesting races. I think it's going to be a boring Sunday for the fans."

However, Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery countered Perez's criticism: "We had to come into this year with a different approach. The cars are very different - lots of wheelspin - and I don't think you can change everything during the year. We had a couple of test sessions and you're not going to jump into a season with everything perfect with the brand new cars.

"If we could change things during the year and had a choice of 12 compounds then you can do a whole lot of other things, but with essentially three compounds - because the supersoft is only for street circuits - so you really have those three compounds to cover a 50C track down to 15C and sometimes you are compromised.

"This circuit historically tends to be one of the ones that is more boring, it's been a precession for many years. We had a few years of taking a different approach to it and this year we'll probably return to more in line with what's been the historical type of event."

Asked specifically about Perez's criticism, Hembery added: "It sounds pathetic as an excuse really. They've all got the same."

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