Interesting to see diametrically opposed views on the 2012 Pirellis from Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.
Post-Bahrain, Schumacher said this: "Everyone had to drive well below [their] limits to maintain the tyres, and I just question whether tyres should play such importance or whether they should last a bit longer so that you can drive at normal racing speed, not cruise around like we have a safety car.
"You could say it's up to us to deal with it, but basically everybody - with maybe one or two exceptions - has this problem. If 80-90 per cent complain then maybe Pirelli should think about it.
"I don't think it's right that only one or two teams handle it and the rest struggle so much."
Rosberg, by contrast, says: "We've seen already this year that when you go from one condition to another, one racetrack to another, one temperature to another... different cars are better on the tyres, so there's a very big engineering challenge to understand why, to adapt and to try to be the one to understand the tyres best.
"Personally, I think it's great for the season. We've had four winners in four races. It couldn't be better. Also, with the tyre degradation and lots of overtaking, we've had exciting races."
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery no doubt felt compelled to fight his corner after Schumacher's utterances and said he was surprised, particularly given Michael's favourable remarks during pre-season testing.
"The competition has never been closer," Hembery responds, "and part of that is down to the fact that everyone has the same opportunities and challenges with the tyres and it's down to them to make the best of it.
"In the end, the best engineers and drivers will always succeed."
I don't know whether Hembery's point about everybody having the same opportunities was deliberately pointed - probably not - but there are more than a few who, when it comes to tyres, have little sympathy for a Schumacher who won five world titles on bespoke Michael/Ferrari Bridgestones from 2000-04.
As Gary Anderson pointed out in his post-race analysis for the BBC, back in the Jordan days in the early 2000s, Michael and Ferrari had tyres that he wasn't even allowed to look at, let alone run.
So there's that, plus Schumacher's detractors saying it was frustration talking at a point when his team-mate had won the previous race - the all-important first for Mercedes - and Michael was keen to hit back and stop Nico gaining the upper hand.
There may be something in all of that, but does Schumacher actually have a valid point?
Wear is not the issue with the tyres - you could do a whole race on them - it's about thermal degradation. They become saturated by the energy put through them and performance drops off. When it does, the driver will lose around 2s and will have to pit immediately.
To delay that point as long as possible, it's necessary to manage the tyres, which is frustrating if, like Schumacher in Bahrain, you are starting 22nd and keen to push on.
Drive without the necessary discipline on full tanks and the performance drop-off will visit you after a mere handful of laps.
In opposition to Schumacher's view, you can point to Kimi Raikkonen and say that he started 11th and was able to push hard enough to all but win the race.
And that's true enough, but he was up four places on the first lap, among competitive cars and running at a decent pace. His healthy stock of new rubber from having been eliminated after one run in Q2, plus a well set-up Lotus, did the rest.
But even Kimi got just the one stab at Sebastian Vettel.
"I chose the wrong side and that was it," Raikkonen says. "After that my tyres dropped off a bit and I couldn't get close enough."
Where you stand is likely to be determined by whether you see F1 as a sport rewarding ultimate performance from every area, or whether it is entertainment first and foremost.
Last year, for instance, Red Bull's RB7 dominated qualifying but its race pace was compromised by the need to look after the tyres. Was it right that the car's margin should be diluted by a lowest common denominator represented, in this case, by the contact patch?
And taking it further, can you argue that in 2012 the field is so close precisely because the need to look after the rubber is reducing race pace that much more?
Michael Schumacher had access to a range of Bridgstone options in the early part of the last decade © LAT
That is undeniable. Race lap times at the start are much slower than would be accounted for simply by fuel effect, as drivers know they risk burning the tyres if they push too hard on full tanks. The characteristic becomes less marked as fuel burns off.
Great, some will say, there are just rewards to be had for the thinking, skillful driver.
Rubbish, say others, the driver can't do anything about it. It's all about whether the car's set-up hits the Pirelli sweet-spot.
The antithesis to the current situation was the height of the Michelin/Bridgestone tyre war, with fuel stops and flat-out sprints on the quickest tyres either company could build.
The problem was that the tyre test programmes were mind-bending. Fortunes were spent as test teams almost twice the size of current race squads spent the weeks between grands prix blasting around Jerez/Barcelona/Ricard evaluating innumerable sets of rubber.
Back then, if anyone had suggested that in-season testing would soon be banned, they'd have been laughed out of court. It happened, though.
I once suggested to Ross Brawn - at the forefront of Bridgestone's work with Ferrari alongside Hirohide Hamashima for so long - that it would be interesting to see tyre competition within the constraints of a testing ban. You'd have the competitive element and interesting technical nuances without the ridiculous bills.
Interesting, for sure, Ross admitted with a smile, while adding that F1 would probably suffer a few more weekends like Indianapolis 2005 if that was the situation...
If you're Pirelli, I'm sure you'd argue that Q2 in China, where 0.27s covered the top 10, proves that the closeness of the racing this year is real and not an artificial product of its tyres.
As the season develops, teams and engineers will surely get a better handle on how to handle the rubber and there will be less unpredictability.
If ever there is a return to tyre competition in F1, however the testing and validation issues are solved, I think it's vital that rules are written to allow any team access to any of its supplying company's products.
Even if you were a purist, travelling to the other side of the world in the early 2000s to view a race that, barring accident, you knew would fall to Schumacher and Ferrari, became a bit tedious.
I much prefer 2012-spec F1 where you leave the house without knowing who's favourite.
But it would be wrong to dismiss Schumacher out of hand. If Pirelli speaks quietly to all the drivers and finds there's a decent level of support for Michael's view, then perhaps it's time for them to produce something a little racier. If it's as easily done as said, that is...
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