Formula 1 team principals are rejecting the suggestions from some quarters that the unpredictable nature of this season is not a turn-off for fans.
Mark Webber became the sixth different victor of 2012 in as many races in the Monaco Grand Prix – prompting criticism that F1 risks losing credibility if the race results are too random. But McLaren's Martin Whitmarsh and Red Bull's Christian Horner insist that there is nothing for the sport to worry about, even though it is making it much harder for their teams to win races.
Whitmarsh said: "If people now say randomness is unattractive, then that is a 180 [degree change] from what people felt a few years ago when it was very predictable.
"On balance, I am sure that people want a lack of predictability. You want to go to each event not knowing who is going to win. You want to go through the course of the weekend not sure what is going to happen in each session, and you want to go through the race not knowing what is going to happen. Every one of our races this year has been tremendously exciting."
When asked if he felt the races were too random this year, he said: "I don't think so. I think it is an enthralling sport at the moment. A few years ago weren't people saying, 'Aren't these processional races and aren't they so predictable?' Well, we certainly don't have a predictable season. I think an unpredictable race and an unpredictable season is what a lot of fans want."
Horner added: "I think it is remarkable that there have been so many winners. The tires are a factor and the fact that there are so many strong drivers as well is also a crucial factor.
"Red Bull has become the first team to win two races this year, which is an achievement. F1 is different this year primarily because of teams trying to get on top of the variances in the tire compounds."
Although the team principals are happy, not all drivers are satisfied by the fact that form seems to fluctuate so much. Jenson Button, who started the season strongly but has had poor results in the last three races, said: "Clearly, everyone is excited about so many different winners, which initially was great for the fans and great for the sport. But there will come a time when the fans will say, 'So, anyone can win a grand prix, everyone can lose a grand prix like that?' I think they're finding it a little bit strange now.
"I don't know, but hopefully a pattern will emerge after the next couple of races and we'll understand the teams and drivers we need to beat to win the championship."