The Mexican driver not only topped the field yesterday, but also set the quickest time of the year so far in Barcelona. And, considering that teams have been testing their 2011-spec challenger for an overall 7 days so far, we'd admit that's quite impressive, although it further adds to the general view that the Pirelli tires will become a major element that could affect the F1 order in the season to come.
Watching Perez' lap time from his garage, Sebastian Vettel was genuinely impressed by the performance of the Sauber driver, especially since it came from a car that isn't regarded as a top contender in 2011.
“Wow, that was a quick lap,” Vettel was quoted as saying by Switzerland's Blick newspaper, while echoed by countryman and Force India Mercedes driver Adrian Sutil.
“I don't think I could have done that time,” said Sutil, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport. Furthermore, he also gave a short evaluation of the F1 field with one more day of testing remaining until the season start in Australia, arguing (like everybody else) that Red Bull will again be the team to beat in 2011.
“At the front are Red Bull and Ferrari. Toro Rosso look good, and Sauber have also been very fast,” he said.