"Tyres get more headlines this year than in any other season I can remember," agreed Sebastian Vettel at Barcelona this week, amazed by just how important the rubber compounds had become to the sport in recent months.
"What we obviously all have realized so far is that tyres do degrade more than in other years - and that this degradation is dependent on, among other things, driving style," he added. And that played to his strengths, as his own driving style seemed to give him an edge in that area.
"Overall it can be said that the longer you can stay out the better," he said. "That is a bit tricky as you must not miss out on the right moment to pit, as from one lap to the other they can go belly up!"
With everyone arriving at Catalunya with new upgrades for their cars following the F1 roadshow's return to Europe and some testing at Mugello, all the teams are nervously waiting to see whether anyone has made a big lead forward in terms of performance.
"I expect all the teams to have significant updates on their cars here, including us, but how good these updates are is something that we will see on Saturday afternoon," he said. "I think we should be okay. We have quite a number of new parts on the car this weekend and the question will be if they all deliver what they are supposed to - how much of a step forward we were able to take compared to the others."
Vettel himself took part in the Mugello sessions, and while the whole exercise was criticised by some team managers as a distraction and as a waste of time and money, and the specific choice of Mugello as the venue was further criticised by Vitaly Petrov, Vettel himself had only good things to say about the experience while admitting that Mugello was unlike any other track on the current F1 season calendar.
"I have to say that I loved the Mugello track - it was fun to drive there as this track definitely has no low-speed corners," he insisted. "Every additional day in the car - away from the stress of a race weekend - is very welcome as it gives you the chance to try things that you probably would not do when completely focusing on setting up the car for a race. And my guess is that the test helped us."
So with tyres, upgrades and the recent testing all factors in how the race weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya plays out, how does he see Red Bull's chances in the Spanish Grand Prix?
"It is impossible to say who's got the edge," he said. "I would say it looks quite promising for us, but as I said before this track is pretty tough on the tyres so everything will depend on the ability to manage them well.