Setting the quickest time on the second day of testing at Barcelona was hardly a consolation for Sergio Perez as the Mexican driver had an unpleasant surprise during the course of the session on Wednesday.
Concerned with the high degradation of the Pirelli tyres this year, the Mexican is worried that the situation this time around is extreme.
"Normally in winter testing we see a lot of degradation, but never this much,” Perez was quoted saying by Autosport.
"We are going to have a race here so it's a bit of a worry,” he said referring to the Catalunya circuit which is scheduled to host the Spanish Grand Prix in May. “"But we are still learning about the tyres and I think once we go racing I hope things will change.”
"I hope it changes, because if we are in this situation in Melbourne we are going to see something like seven or ten stops," the McLaren driver pointed out.
Perez is noted for managing his tyres, a skill that gave him three podiums last season and caught the attention of the British team, which promptly signed him as a replacement for Lewis Hamilton.
“It doesn't matter what you decide to do, what talent you have, it is very difficult,” Perez was quoted saying by Spanish website AS about managing the fast degrading rubber. “No matter which route you choose, after a quick lap you just slide around."
BBC Sport quotes him as saying, "The tyre is difficult to do two or three laps with. Once you do a lap you start fighting the degradation so it is difficult to learn anything from the car and the balance."
The issue isn’t restricted to McLaren and Perez alone with others on the grid too suffering from similar problems.
"(Nico) Hulkenberg said there was only a lap or two when the driver could get a feel for the car before the tyres went off," reports F1Fanatic.co.uk adding that the season-opener in Melbourne could be a lottery.
Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso too said that his outing on Wednesday was a challenging one.
“Quite a bit of marbles and stuff as well, particularly some guys on long runs I came behind it looks like they’re shooting rubber pellets at me,” the Australian said.