However, the closeness of the WDC table in 2012 is contrived by acute tyre manipulation - which is purposely done. I do not see why you feel that has rendered the closeness in the WDC race more genuine. If anything, it is less genuine, seeing as it is being purposely achieved.
While the tyres are a factor, the leading cars in this year's Monaco GP all ran just two sets, one being the qualifying ones too. Last year due to the red flag, the cars changed their tyres another time. So in fact, the teams this year managed to achieve Monaco success with just one tyre change. So ... how much of that is tyre manipulation? Sebs closing laps on his tyres were fast ones too - so the tyres can actually be effected by driver performance. Drive too hard and they wear out quicker, and its seems, abruptly. But ... isn't that related to the driver? Funny - I recall Alain Prost winning coming back from having no expectations of winning the WDC one year ... and he was back in the race. But he saved his tyres ... and came through while others including Mansell had tyre issues. And Prost won the WDC due to that final race ... driving around the tyres is not a new issue.
Also another reason why cars are close this season, is the regulations. The Formula has continued to remove areas from the cars that permit freedom of design. Hence the cars have gotten closer to each other. That characteristic should assist driver contribution, rather than remove it.
So ... overall I think while the media carry on, the driver just has a different set of issues to handle this year.
There's also the handling issue though ... and that is not the tyres. It's the car that has mostly changed there.
I've said that the cars have looser tails this year ... and I think Button is evidence of that issue.
Oh and finally - Alonso actually reminds me of Prost, in many ways. And if Ferrari had of left him out there, he'd have passed both Nico and MW, and won the race. That they did not, was because Ferrari got the tyre decision wrong. The tyres were there for them, it was the Ferrari team that lost that opportunity.
As to MW and SV, its not worth commenting IMO. its too ridiculous to comment ... its nice that MW got to show some stuff though.
Edited by Melbourne Park, 29 May 2012 - 00:50.