The official tyre supplier has brought its medium and hard rubber for this year’s race, as it did for the previous two Spanish Grands Prix, but the compounds are harder than those used in previous seasons.
Fernando Alonso said the tyre choice was one of several reasons why he struggled to gain good traction.
“There wasn’t much grip on track today and in general, we struggled a bit more, which was down to a series of factors, including the track being less rubbered-in than usual,” he said.
“On top of that, we have less aerodynamic downforce than in the past and also in my opinion, the tyre choice here is too conservative for this track.”
Sergio Perez echoed Alonso’s view, saying he had a “challenging day” of practice.
“The compounds available for this weekend are very hard and this creates some issues with getting the tyres to work as desired.”
Before the race weekend began Pirelli said harder tyres had been chosen to prevent drivers having to make four pit stops during the race, as was the case last year.
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Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo