Racing is all about skill. If all we want to see is who can lap the fastest, we have qualifying. The true mark of a good driver is one who can make a car lap consistently quickly in all conditions. Tires, no matter how good, will eventually go off. Having a driver who knows how to go fast while balancing the car on the tires is part of any racing discipline (except perhaps rally-racing). Nothing artificial about it, despite the way they went about it. If the tires last longer, they'd simply have to make the races longer. I like it this way. Great drivers should learn how to drive around these issues. It makes for exciting MotoGP racing... why not do the same in F1?