Perez blasts Miami GP track surface: 'It's a joke!'

ยฉ XPB 

F1 drivers took another shot at the track surface of the Miami International Autodrome, with Red Bull's Sergio Perez branding the asphalt "a joke".

After Friday's opening day of running at the new venue, marked by a flurry of spins and off-track excursions, several drivers expressed their fears that racing "will be bad" come Sunday because of the track's massive lack of grip outside of the racing line.

After qualifying, drivers upheld their criticism of the track's surface and the impact it will inevitably have on the racing in this afternoon's inaugural Miami Grand Prix.

"The surface is a joke,โ€ said Perez. "On Sunday the racing is going be difficult. And you're going to have the drivers making mistakes because we've been put into this situation."

Alpine's Fernando Alonso said the topic related to the circuit's lack of grip was tabled during Friday's drivers' briefing. But no improvement was forthcoming on Saturday.

"It's still very difficult to go offline," commented the Spaniard. "There's like rubble out of line, so it's going to be difficult. We said yesterday that the track, the tarmac, is not F1 standards.

"Nothing we can do. I think this weekend we need to put the show, but this has to change for next year. It's very difficult to race like this."

McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo agreed that venturing off line was perilous.

"You literally have to just stay on that one line," he said. "Otherwise, you're not not really on the track anymore.

"So actually instead of kind of making it a kind of a good challenge, it just makes it a little bit, in a way, like one-dimensional, because you only have kind of that one option of that one line where a little bit of rubber building up.

"So I don't want to lie and say I like the surface."

Lando Norris stood by his McLaren teammate's remarks but felt that Miami's organizers had gone for something different that has proven detrimental to the show.

"On the racing line it's not bad grip, is reasonable-ish," said the Briton. "I think it's just very hot, which makes it feel even worse. The fact is just offline it's really, really terrible.

"And we come to the races, and there's so many fans here. And everyone expects such an amazing race. So when you come to it, and then they're trying something new with the surface, and something they've not really done before, then I think we end up in a position like we are.

"You don't want everyone to be exactly the same, every track, you like the differences, you like them to be unique.

"But when there's so much expectation, and you want good racing, and you want us to provide good racing and entertainment and everything, and then there's a surface, which they're trying and they just kind of winging it in a way to see what it's going to be likeโ€ฆ

"Itโ€™s not good enough, because then we can't do what they require, we can't put on a good show. We can't race. It's not our fault, but it's a shame."

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