De la Rosa predicts very close season

McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa believes the 2009 championship will be a lot closer than expected thanks to the introduction of radical new rules

De la Rosa predicts very close season

Formula One is facing the biggest raft of regulation changes in over two decades, with the return of slick tyres, the introduction of KERS, and a significant overhaul of aerodynamic rules.

But despite all the changes, de la Rosa reckons the field is likely to be very tight.

"Everything is very close because we have been testing for very few days and also the tests have been in the wet, but I see the new rules, and the big differences that we were expecting are small. It's all very close," de la Rosa told Spain's new F1 broadcaster La Sexta.

The Spaniard added that he thinks the 2009 season will be "fantastic, because it is a very open championship with a set of rules that it's going to lead to problems and changes in the order, and that's what's interesting, that it's not always the same ones winning."

Despite his thoughts on the closeness of the championship, de la Rosa reckons his own team and Ferrari will be fighting for the title, as he ruled out Renault from the battle on top.

"McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari," he said when asked about his championship favourites. "I hope I'm wrong (about Renault). I think in the end the usual ones are going to be fighting for the championship unfortunately."

The McLaren tester added that the Williams team are likely to be the surprise of the year.

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