I have been watching F1 for around 25 years, which in comparison to some corners of the media is not a long time. We have however since the emergence of Red Bull and other key drivers had an influx of new fans, which of course is not a bad thing. However for me some of these fans lack the perspective that the elder fans have in terms of the history of F1. I for one do not want to go back to the days where each GP is decided by virtue of a drivers qualification position, Pirelli's role in the return to overtaking in our beloved sport has been critical in my opinion. Their tyre design has lead to a return in focus to the symbiotic relationship of mechanical grip vs aerodynamics and aids the driver feel his way into the corner. The degradation we see aids in the strategic element of the sport we lost when F1 reverted to no refueling in 2010 giving the driver and the team a decision to be made throughout a race weekend that can have ramifications to their overall result.
Pirelli have talked openly about the option of re-specing their 2013 tyre choices and with a heavy heart this morning I opened a press release from the Italian Tyre manufacturer describing a change to their hard tyre compound from Barcelona onward: Pirelli Press Release
From Barcelona onward the Hard tyre will return to a compound specification much closer to it's 2012 counterpart, this means a 2 stage gap appears between that and the Medium compound of tyre. With Pirelli reporting a gap of between 0.5 & 0.8 secs between their 2013 compounds a larger gap of between 1.0 & 1.5 seconds could be seen between the Hard and Medium compounds (Most likely around 1 second) essentially removing the chance of the Hard and Softs being run in a GP again this year.
The change in compound of the Hard tyre should allow for a wider variety of strategy but I fear that certain teams will yield a much larger advantage with this change than some others and could springboard their title chances from here onwards. (The Medium tyres usage will become crucial throughout the rest of the year)
For me the Pirelli's add to the challenge of F1 enticing the designers, engineers and drivers alike to make decisions that will impact their race and moreover their season. Pirelli have followed their brief from the FIA to create both a strategic element to the racing whilst also enabling overtaking, the teams in my opinion should respect this and engineer their own races more effectively. (In other words, stop bitching and get racing)