I don’t buy into the argument that “modern” run-off areas don’t penalise mistakes enough. I don’t want to see a tiny mistake totally ruining a driver’s race (even if that driver IS Fernando Alonso).
Gravel traps should exist for safety purposes only- to stop a car ploughing head-long into a tyre wall at 200mph. Where possible they should be set back as far as practically possible from the track to allow drivers to correct mistakes.
The next question is obviously what to put between the track and the gravel. I like the artificial grass because even when it’s dry, drivers still have to slow- they don’t get off scott-free. But unless it’s soaking wet, the chances of the grass causing a driver to crash and retire is slim. Even if he spins, he can usually continue the race.