F1 should be careful not to race away from its image as the ultimate form of motor racing.
“We know Formula One as the sprint racing in which man and machine is constantly pushed to the limit,” McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “We have to be careful we don’t lose that because the tyres wear out too quickly,” he said.
It is a classic struggle between the sport’s ‘purists’ and those who have enjoyed the topsy-turvy spectacle of the 2012 season so far, with six different winners from the opening six grands prix.
“On the one hand it’s been very interesting,” former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher told Kleine Zeitung newspaper. “On the other side it’s been very difficult to understand.”
The former Williams race winner admitted that the analysis of the results so far has been a tiresome discussion about “tyres, tyres, tyres”.
“I think it would be good,” Whitmarsh said, “if the tyres were less decisive in terms of the outcome. That there were again other things that are just as important.”
Mark Webber, despite being F1’s most recent winner, also rues the old days.
“Personally, I enjoyed the sprint races and the refuelling, probably all of the drivers did, but the racing was not super-exciting,” said the Red Bull driver.
Others in the pitlane, however, are more than content.
“Especially the top teams do not seem very happy,” Peter Sauber wrote in his Sonntagsblick column.
His Swiss team has been a benefactor of the 2012 situation, with the tyres levelling the playing field for those without a mammoth budget.
Sergio Perez almost won the Malaysian grand prix, and recently in Monaco the Mexican was the fastest driver in the race.
“I think Pirelli has done a very good job,” said Sauber. “The tyres are a substantial reason for the amount of overtaking and the exciting situation in the world championship.
“They are the same for all the teams, and we all had the same time in the winter testing period to adjust.
“Of course it may be frustrating for the engineers when the tyres are not what they had expected, but we must not forget that the races should please the fans, not only us,” he insisted.