Pirelli's tyre choice for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix has been blamed for a spate of 'traffic' issues in qualifying as surprisingly cool conditions forced drivers to work harder in search of suitable working temperatures.
The sole supplier of rubber could not have gone any more aggressive in its choice, having provided its soft and supersoft compounds for the blue riband event, but even the supersoft tyre was taking several laps to reach optimum conditions, prompting several drivers to voice the opinion that perhaps the construction had gone too far in the opposite direction.
"I am sure, if you ask any driver, the tyres are too hard for this circuit," Williams' Valtteri Bottas commented after dropping out of qualifying at the first hurdle.
"It seems we are a bit conservative on tyres at the moment," 2009 world champion Jenson Button agreed, "I think the tyres here, as they were at the last race, are.... hard.
"On the out-lap, it feels like you don't have any tyre blankets basically - it's very, very slippery and it takes three or four laps for them to work. On the option tyre, it's the second timed lap and you're still struggling to get the tyre up to temperature really, so it's been tough.
"Obviously, the option tyre here has a slightly lower working range than the prime tyre, but it's also a harder tyre compared to last year's supersoft - I did three laps on a supersoft in Barcelona in testing, back-to-back, and we didn't see any massive degradation. Obviously that won't change this year but, hopefully, in the future it will."
Button was among those who suggested that the problems with traffic on the narrowest circuit of the year had probably been exacerbated by the tyre issue.
"I think some of it is because the tyres take so long to warm up," he confirmed, "People are doing extra warm-up laps and it just gets very confusing."
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton also held the opinion that the supplied rubber - which, in the supersoft's case, is no different in compound to last year's but has been reprofiled to better suit the 2015 regulations - is simply not up to the task, with only the mandated need to run both compounds on raceday mitigating against the possibility of not pitting at all.
"I guess I'm going to have to choose my words carefully but, these tyres, they take a quite a long time to bring in," Hamilton noted, "We have to push quite a lot to get the tyres to start working. They're very
hard - considering they're the soft and supersoft, they're incredibly hard.
"When I looked at the wear life yesterday, there's a lot of laps you can do. This morning was okay - the track was a bit grippier at one point, so the tyres came in really nicely, quite soon. But, this afternoon, being a little cooler perhaps, we had to do kind of an out-lap, a warm-up lap and then the fast lap. Even on that fast lap, they were so-so - and it's interesting that you have to do that with both tyres."
Bottas estimated that it might be possible to run as much as half of Sunday's race on the supersoft tyre.
"It will be one stop for sure, but it is a question of which tyre we will start on and how long we go with one set," the Finn opined, "With the soft tyre, I think we could do the whole race distance! It is way too hard and even the super soft is on the limit..."