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McLaren driver Serio Pérez has described an 'extreme' level of degradation with Pirelli's new tyre 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.
Pérez, 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 tyre wear.
"It's extreme," explained Pérez. "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 tyres. 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 tyre degradation causing issues with data collection, Pérez 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."
Pérez will hand over to team-mate 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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