Lewis Hamilton has branded Pirelli’s new ‘super hard’ tyre a disaster after the first day of practice in Barcelona.
All drivers struggled for grip on the new tyre, and Fernando Alonso said it would be better if he didn’t say what he thought about it.
“The car was OK once we got to the better tyre,” said Hamilton. “I think everyone was much, much happier with the [soft] tyre. The super hard is a disaster, that wasn’t nice to drive. A two second difference, and they don’t last longer.”
Asked to elaborate he said: “It was feeling pretty poor this morning with the new super hard tyre, I don’t know why they’ve brought that tyre, because the previous tyre was pretty good. It looks pretty difficult to switch on, and then to last, it’s just sliding.
“I think we were about 2.5 seconds off the pace just with that tyre. Then we switched to the normal soft, and it was fantastic. I think you’ll see most people driving with that tyre for the weekend.”
Hamilton finished the session an encouraging second, only 0.03s behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull.
“I think we’re just as competitive as we have been perhaps in the past, but that doesn’t mean we’re actually close to them. We’ll wait and see tomorrow if we’re actually close to them. It really depends what engine modes they’re on and all that kind of thing.
“From the times it looks great, but usually when we get to qualifying they end up switching something on, and pulling out half a second. Undoubtedly they are the quickest car, on the long run they were still quicker than us.
“We made some small steps forward today, I think we improved a couple of small areas, which is good. The front wing, we put it on and it seems to be a little bit better. Globally, not too bad.”