Carlos Sainz feels sorry for the MotoGP riders who requested Silverstone’s resurfacing after getting his first experience of the track in Friday practice for Formula 1’s British Grand Prix.
MotoGP riders have complained about bumpy surfaces on several tracks visited by F1 cars, including Silverstone, the Red Bull Ring, Austin and Barcelona.
Earlier this year riders hit out at the attempts made to make the Austin track smoother in the United States, and Sainz suggested they would be unhappy when MotoGP heads to Silverstone next month as well.
“Yes, very weird,” Sainz said when asked if the track was bumpier. “My friends in Barcelona did an amazing job, too much of a good job because the track was [smooth] like ice and very, very grippy, no bumps at all.
“Here I am surprised that we found probably a step in grip that we found in Barcelona with the grippier tarmac but as bumpy, or even bumpier, than last year.
“I just feel sorry for the MotoGP guys who asked for this change and are probably not going to get what they wanted.”
Several other drivers commented on the Silverstone surface after Friday practice.
Four-time world champion Lewis Hamilton had already complained to his Mercedes team over the radio and later added: “The track is the fastest it has ever been. It's insane how fast it is.
“It has to be the best track in the world, it feels like driving a fighter jet around the track.
“However, it is also the bumpiest track I've ever experienced, it's like the Nordschleife.”
Hamilton’s title rival Sebastian Vettel said it was “a bit funny” because they were “very small bumps, but it’s like all the time, chattering around”, while Haas driver Kevin Magnussen said the new surface “hasn’t really helped anything”.
However, not every driver was negative. Although Max Verstappen admitted he expected a smoother surface, he claimed that “some of the really annoying bumps have gone”.
Silverstone predicted new lap records thanks to the resurfacing, which took place at the start of this year.
Vettel’s benchmark in Friday practice was a second faster than 2017, although conditions are considerably warmer this year.
Valtteri Bottas said: “The track is quite different compared to previous years, there's a lot of grip from the new tarmac but at the same time a lot of bumps.
“Luckily, it doesn't seem to affect us in terms of performance, only the high-speed corners like Turn 9 [Copse] or Turn 13 [Becketts] are a bit trickier.
“But it's not a big issue since we also gained grip from the new tarmac.”