The decision by Pirelli to change the tyre compounds later this season is bound to end up causing controversy. The cars were built with the new tyres in mind and going back to earlier constructions means that the balance of the competition could be changed by the decision. The fact that this has been deemed necessary because of one race in which there were four pit stops for many of the cars is slightly worrying.
Yes, perhaps the same might happen again in races to come, but so what? In the history of the sport there have been plenty of occasions when drivers have made four pit stops and still won. Back in 1993 Senna famously won in Donington Park after a race with four stops, while Prost finished third having made seven!
And just to make sure you understand just how dubious this decision is, let us not forget that in Spain two years ago Sebastian Vettel (and six other drivers) stopped four times, while most of the field stopped three times. In Turkey that year 14 drivers stopped four times and the rest did three. There was none of the fuss.
The fact that change was deemed to be necessary can only be put down to the noise made by the media (or at least elements of it), egged on by inflammatory statements by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz. It is a shame he never says such things when his team is the one winning.
My view is that if the commentators cannot keep up with the action, then they should not be commentators. In the media centre those of use who have been doing this for a few years had no problem keeping track of it all. It takes concentration, but we were in discussion about whether Alonso or Raikkonen would win until the last few laps, when it finally became clear that Kimi had nothing left to give and Fernando had done enough. Understanding it all, of course, adds to the enjoyment and so it is not surprising that those who were not able to keep up felt a little helpless and did not like it. And hence they came out against it.
In my opinion, Pirelli would have held out against such demands for change were it not for the fact that they do not want the public to think that their tyres were simply not working properly and if that was the impression that was given then the commentators must again take the blame. The tyres were doing what they were designed to do. Perhaps that was a little too aggressive for an abrasive track like Barcelona, but that does not mean that, in effect, the rules should be changed mid-season.
No wonder some of the teams who do understand the tyres are upset. Playing politics is always a part of the game in F1, but that does not mean it does not stink.