So Michael Schumacher was the first to crack. Amid ever-mounting evidence that tyres - or, more importantly, Formula 1 teams' ability to understand and exploit them - is now becoming the key factor in deciding races, the Mercedes driver's outburst against Pirelli was the first sign that not everybody is happy with the way the racing is panning out this year.
With four different cars winning the first four races, it's nigh on impossible to state which team or driver is the current favourite for the world championship. McLaren's front-row lock-outs in Australia and Malaysia seem distant memories now judging by recent races, with Lotus, Red Bull and Mercedes all outperforming Woking's best in the past fortnight.
Further confusing the picture is that Fernando Alonso, in a Ferrari that the team readily confesses is well below par, is just 10 points off the lead of the drivers' championship. This time last year he was 52 behind.
As each race goes on, it appears that it's neither car developments nor driver brilliance that's deciding which team/driver combination comes out on top; it's whether or not people can get themselves into the right tyre operating window.
To continue reading this feature, subscribe to Autosport Plus today.
Are you an Autosport magazine subscriber? Activate your online account
- Your Autosport Plus subscription includes:
- Unlimited access to Autosport's news - no monthly cap.
- Read the best motorsport features, analysis and opinion.
- Explore Forix, our comprehensive motorsport stats database.
- Choose from a monthly or yearly membership.