Alonso expects 'new' style of racing
|By Simon Strang and Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, March 24th 2011, 05:15 GMT
Fernando Alonso says that fans can expect to watch a 'new Formula 1' as teams prepare for a more strategic style of racing thanks to the introduction of Pirelli tyres in 2011.
The Italian tyre manufacturer - the sole supplier to the sport this year - returns to grand prix racing for the first time in 20 years this weekend with compounds that have been deliberately designed to degrade faster than Bridgestone's predecessors to help spice up the racing.
And after testing proved that teams expect there to be stop three or four times during races this season, the Ferrari driver believes that getting strategy right will be even more crucial to his Sunday afternoons now.
"There are many things to learn to test with these tyres, for sure there is a new way of doing the races in terms of strategy, so a new Formula 1 starts here in Melbourne in terms of strategy that we need to learn from here to keep for the coming races," he said in the Thursday press conference.
"We need to be focused and concentrated on the strategy because it can play a big part of the race result. And maybe on the other hand qualifying on Saturday has less value as son Sunday there will be more factors on track.
"The number of laps [completed on hard or soft tyres] is impossible to predict right now, but I think there is not a big problem as it is the same tyres for everyone," he added. "After tomorrow's practice we will understand a bit better how the strategy will work on Sunday, I don't have a particular worry for that.
"It is a new tyre compared to last year, a new way of approaching the weekend and the strategy. It is something we have been practising all winter, hopefully okay and hopefully more fun for the spectators."
Alonso said his sole objective in 2011 was to win the world championship for Ferrari after watching the title slip from his grasp in the final round of last year's campaign at Abu Dhabi.
"I think if you race for Ferrari then there is no other goal than fighting for the world championship, that is the history of Ferrari, the power of Ferrari," he said. "This team is about passion, motor racing and winning, obviously that is our aim, that is our goal for 2011 campaign – to try and fight for the world championship.
"In the end you can win or you can lose, depends on how competitive you are and depends on many other factors as well, I am sure we will be there."
The 29-year-old Spaniard, who last won a world championship title five years ago, also said that he expected a stronger challenge from his team-mate Felipe Massa – insisting that there was no number one driver at Ferrari.
"I think that I was not number one last year and I'm not number one this year," he said. "We try to do our best, Felipe has been strong all his career and strong last year. In the end he was maybe losing too many points, he had some bad moments like Singapore – it is not only the pure pace of performance, it is other factors that help fight for the championship.
"I expect Felipe to be very strong and a title contender, I think both fighting for the constructors' championship for Ferrari is a big thing."