Formula 1 drivers should stop complaining about tires because the best teams will still be the ones winning the races, according to former grand prix driver Jean Alesi.
Alesi, who now works as an ambassador for Pirelli, believes the Italian tire manufacturer is producing exactly what it has been asked for to help improve the Formula 1 show. The Frenchman thinks there is no point in teams and drivers complaining about the current generation of tires.
"One thing that doesn't change at all is that the best teams will always be the most successful," said Alesi. "So there is no point for anybody to complain because this will always quite rightly be the case, whatever you do with the regulations."
Alesi added that striking a balance between outright speed and tire management is nothing new.
"The drivers will have to find the best compromise between performance and degradation, which is exactly the way that it has always been in Formula 1," he said. "I raced through many different tire regulations and suppliers during my career – even in the era of qualifying tires. And while they all had different aspects, Pirelli is the company that has supplied the most entertainment to all the fans: so far we have seen two fantastic races.
"This is exactly what was asked, and in my opinion just what the sport needed."
OPINION: Not just earning his pay
Just because Jean Alesi is paid to say nice things about Pirelli in his ambassadorial capacity does not automatically mean that he is wrong. For all the bile that is spewed about Pirelli's "lottery" tires, can anyone honestly conclude that anyone in F1 has enjoyed anything other than the most fleeting of success thanks to luck?
Take last year's World Championship. Sebastian Vettel beat Fernando Alonso to the drivers' championship, with Lewis Hamilton only out of contention thanks to unreliability and team blunders by McLaren. The consensus was they were the three outstanding drivers of 2013 (although not necessarily in that order).
Likewise the teams. Red Bull and Ferrari finished first and second in the constructors' standings. Can anyone honestly argue that they weren't the two standout teams once you take into account factors such as operational slickness?
Either the sport struck the billion-to-one shot that its tire lottery format threw up the most meritorious results, or it's perhaps not as driven by fortune as some would have you believe.
Tires have always been a convenient thing to complain about, particularly for those struggling. I could supply hours and hours and recordings of drivers moaning about Bridgestone tires holding them back from the pre-2011 era.
If you're not convinced, just do a quick Google search for drivers complaining about the mysterious bad set of tires that generally coincided with a disappointing stint or qualifying lap that could not possibly be the fault of the driver.
It's not the same complaint as now, but the fact is that tires have always been and will continue to be a popular "neutral" target for complaints in the single-supplier era.
You can make a compelling case on every level except economics for having a tire war. But the reality is that control rubber is here to stay. After all, F1 cars running rubberless on rims look spectacular and sparky, but go neither fast nor far. The sport must not forget that, especially with no tire supplier yet signed up for 2014.