Sergio Perez (R) says Pirelli tire degradation is extreme this year
McLaren driver Sergio Perez has described an 'extreme' level of degradation with Pirelli's new tire compounds, with the Mexican admitting that it has been difficult to learn a great deal about the handling of his new MP4-28 at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Perez, who set the pace on the second day of the gathering, suggested that the field will be forced to make an abnormal amount of pit-stops if conditions are similar to those experienced in Barcelona this week, with the cold weather increasing tire wear.
"It's extreme," explained Perez. "It's very difficult with the degradation and it's a big surprise. Normally we see a lot of degradation throughout winter testing, but never this much. We are sometimes going to have cold races, like it is here, so it's a bit of a worry.
"We're still learning about the tires. I definitely hope that it changes because if we see this situation in Melbourne then we are going to need something like seven to ten pit-stops to manage the race."
Despite tire degradation causing issues with data collection, Perez believes he has a 'very good base' with the MP4-28 and is confident of a strong start to the season.
"In general, I think the car is quite strong and has a very good base," he added. "It has very good potential to be improved with some tweaks if we can make them work."
Perez will hand over to teammate Jenson Button at the Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday, with the latter scheduled to complete the week of testing for McLaren.
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