DECEMBER 31, 2015
F1 a bad product in 2015 says De la Rosa
Former race and test driver Pedro de la Rosa thinks 2016 will be a better year for formula one.
"Let's be realistic," the 44-year-old, most recently a test driver for Ferrari, told the Spanish sports daily AS. "The (F1) product this year was bad.
"There has been nothing to raise passions. It was a pretty bad game only between (Lewis) Hamilton and (Nico) Rosberg and that's all. That was the problem.
"The coming year will be much more interesting," the Spanish veteran added, "because Fernando Alonso will be much stronger and Mercedes will have a serious rival in Ferrari."
Speaking of Alonso, with whom he worked closely at both Ferrari and McLaren, de la Rosa admitted McLaren-Honda's awful 2015 season caught him by surprise.
"But in hindsight," he said, "it is what happens when a manufacturer is in a hurry and decides to be in Japan, far from its English team, and especially decides not to sign foreign engineers from other manufacturers experienced in the new regulations.
"For that, the learning period is much longer," argued de la Rosa.
Asked what he expects from the Anglo-Japanese collaboration for 2016, he said: "To be regularly in Q3 and do a podium.
"But it should be clear that the world championship is for 2017, not 2016, and so the focus from the very start of 2016 should be on the car and engine for 2017," said de la Rosa.