Formula 1 - McLaren plays down Perez pit crash

Sergio Perez's crash in the pit entry after the chequered flag in Friday morning practice for the Chinese Grand Prix was caused by a loss of front tyre temperature, according to McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.

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The Mexican understeered through the gravel and into the tyre barrier while returning to the pits after this morning's session, an accident reminiscent of Lewis Hamilton's off at the same place in the 2007 Chinese GP.

"The main problem was that the tyres were quite worn out and he had done a slow sector so the front tyre temperatures had dropped significantly and he just lost a lot of grip," said Michael.

"To be honest, we probably should have warned him on the in-lap as well."

Despite the crash damaging the front wing and nose, this was an old-specification part that had been fitted late in the session.

This means that the crash will have no knock-on effect for McLaren's weekend.

"The front wing and nose, which was a spare one, [were damaged], so it's quite good actually - not that we wanted to do that.

"Fortunately, it was an old-spec wing so no big damage and he'll be ready to go for the second session."

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