Amidst general complaints about the new Pirelli tyres, adjustable rear wings and the return of KERS, Fernando Alonso
has admitted that the 'new look' F1 will be both unpredictable and exciting.
The Spaniard, who narrowly missed out on adding a third world title to his haul in 2010 when his Ferrari
team got its tactics wrong, has said that strategy will play a big part in determining success this season, with wear rates making tyre management, in particularly, a headache for all. Not always the easiest of drivers to satisfy, Alonso has eschewed the chance to join those rivals who have spoken out about the Pirellis and the addition of further complications to the steering wheel with the advent of adjustable rear wings and KERS, and simply accepted that he has to get on with the task at hand.
"I think everyone will have a different opinion [but], in my case, I don't think there is any particular problem with the new rules - all the things we need to do on the steering wheel, they are part of our job," the Ferrari
driver insisted, "We are professional drivers and we need to understand between us and our team, to make the most comfortable way of using all the new things. If you have no time to do all the things on the steering wheel, you don't do it, it's not a mandatory thing to do.
"It will take time and I think that for us, we did a lot of mileage in the winter. I think I can say that, for Felipe [Massa] and me, we can get used to the new things and it comes automatically the things that we need to do on the steering wheel, corner after corner. I don't see any particular problem or anything to discuss in the near future.
"I think there are many things to learn this weekend. We've just tested with these tyres, [and], for sure, there is a new way of doing the races in terms of strategy, so let's say that a new F1 is starting here in Melbourne in terms of the strategy point of view.
"We need to learn from here and keep all the new things for the coming races, but this is like a new one and we need to be very focused, very concentrated on the strategy because I think it can play a big part of the race result."
Surprisingly, while the tyres have struggled to last more than five laps with optimum performance, and both the rear wing technology and KERS will be limited in the races, Alonso does not believe that qualifying, where use of the technology is unrestricted, will be as big a factor as many are claiming.
"Maybe qualifying on Saturday has a little bit less value compared to last year, because on Sunday there will be more things to come, more factors on the track," he reasoned, "I think the number of laps [we'll get out of the tyres] is impossible to predict right now, but I don't think there is a big problem because it's the same tyres for everybody. After qualifying, or after [Friday] practice, we will try to understand a little bit better how the strategy can work on Sunday, but I don't have any particular worries on that.
"The feeling with the tyres is okay. Obviously, it's a new tyre, as I said before, and a new way of approaching the weekend, a new way of approaching the strategies, but it's something that we've been practising all winter and we will have more experience after race one. It will be okay - and, hopefully, more fun for the spectators."