Someone once said that tarmac run-offs actually reverse the driver’s learning process to find the maximum grip at each corner of each track.
I. e. before tarmac run-offs became the norm, one would converge to the quickest way through a corner from ‘below’, i. e. slowly building up speed in the corner. While, of course, nowadays it’s still the predominant approach and sensible thing to do, there is – I think – less in the way of doing the opposite – take a bit too much and see if that’s enough. If not, back off a bit. But increasingly try to nail it from ‘above’.
Of course, limited tyre availability curbs this possibility back somewhat; it’s not so fun finishing a set of tyres trying to nail it from ‘above’ and flat spotting one by braking too late… But then again, precisely that’s what tarmac run-off is good for. Late on the breaks? No issues, don’t flat spot it, run wide instead, you will have no problems. So it’s controversial a bit.
Another thing: it does encourage overtakes, I think. While playing with the abrasiveness of tarmac run-offs could cut this back, I think it is a way higher incentive to try a risky pass. The worse you could end up with is a little tour on the run-off, but no gravel, sand or grass will mess up your tyres, aero elements, radiator, etc.
Of course the main argument is always safety, but that needs no explanation – barring brake failures, where one could argue that a gravel trap would be more effective in slowing the car down.