Sergio Perez's crash in the pit entry after the checkered flag in Friday morning practice for the Chinese Grand Prix was caused by a loss of front tire temperature, according to McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.
The Mexican understeered through the gravel and into the tire barrier while returning to the pits after this morning's session, an accident reminiscent of Lewis Hamilton's incident at the same place in the 2007 Chinese GP.
"The main problem was that the tires were quite worn out and he had done a slow sector so the front tire 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 subsequent effect on 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."