As the Australian Grand Prix edges closer, McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso expects the usual front-runners to be strong in Melbourne but has some doubts as most of the teams hid the performances at pre-season testing.
In addition to the pressure of putting in a good performance at their first GP of the season, the Spaniard feels the crowd will be a significant factor in Australia as they are one of the liveliest groups of spectators around the globe.
“The same teams look to be strong this year, but everyone is holding their cards very close to their chest, so it will be interesting to see how the weekend unfolds,” Alonso told Mclaren.com.
“One thing is for sure, the fans are always very loud and it’s always a great feeling in the first race of the season. Apart from that, we can’t make any predictions of results or make comparisons as we don’t yet know much about the form book from winter testing.”
Already expecting a few surprises at this week’s race, the two-time World Champion has said that the new qualifying format is something to keep a close eye on as it is likely to throw up some unexpected results.
“The new qualifying format will surely make things a bit unpredictable for the teams and the fans, as every time a new regulation comes in each season it always take a little bit of time to get used to it,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to landing in Australia, getting back in the car, putting my visor down and getting back on track, then the season will really begin. I’m so ready.”