Formula 1 is still as exciting in the cockpit this season as it has been in recent campaigns regardless of high tire wear, claims Paul di Resta.
Amid an ongoing debate about whether or not Pirelli's high-degrading tires have taken away some of the thrill of racing, di Resta is in no doubt that things are just as good this season as they have been before.
"It might be boring at the front, but it's not boring when the whole distance you're challenging for another position," di Resta told AUTOSPORT when asked about the state of racing this year. "Even up to 11 laps from the end of the last grand prix, we were fighting for track position because we knew we were on a four-stop and had to get ahead of some cars on a three-stop. It's a big thing.
"It's nice that things change during a race and tire wear gets better. Some grands prix you're scared on Friday that you're going to do loads of stops, but by Sunday the engineers have fixed things."
Di Resta concedes that his team has sometimes had to compromise its qualifying because of concerns about race degradation, but he thinks that actually helps make Sundays more interesting.
"We look forward to race performance because we know our car won't challenge for the front two rows in qualifying," he said. "You're on the back foot already, so you have to stop thinking about that and start thinking about the race and challenging at the end when they're in trouble.
"That's what keeps the racing exciting and challenging. Even when it comes to the point that you might save a set of tires for that, you don't know where you're going to be.
"The other thing – and I'm not getting carried away – is that all the races, for us, have been like last year. We know Barcelona is the toughest race on tires, so I don't expect Monaco to be too different to last year."