Nico Rosberg is confident the 2016 updated rules will spice up the show by creating “surprise results” with the Mercedes driver also happy to see “F1 re-inventing itself”.
Although this year’s technical and sporting regulations remain fairly stable, there have been a few major tweaks, ranging from new tyre rules to a radical elimination-style qualifying format as well as a stricter ban on radio communications.
The changes have received a lukewarm reception amongst drivers, but Rosberg, for one, believes these will benefit the sport.
“I think it’s great that F1 is re-inventing itself,” Rosberg said ahead of the F1 season opener in Melbourne. “The target has been to create more surprise events, and surprise results. And with all three of these regulation changes, that has been achieved, so there will more surprises.
“In qualifying, you’ll see more people getting caught up so the fastest car will not always be on pole. Same thing with the tyres, the faster car will not always win the race. Sometimes it will be the guy who has made the right tyre choice because you can’t often predict before the race what the best tyre is going to be. All these things are good.”
As much as the revised rules can help improve the spectacle, the fans’ chief interest will be to see whether Mercedes can be challenged after two years of utter domination.
Rosberg’s team-mate Lewis Hamilton already said Ferrari “have something up this sleeve this weekend” and the German is quick to chime in on the reigning Constructors’ champions talking up their nearest 2015 rivals.
“Ferrari is a big threat,” Rosberg added. “They were extremely close to our pace in testing. Of course you never know, but we take them extremely seriously and we need to be careful. In two days we will know.
“We are expecting a battle, yeah, which is fine – just as long as they are never in front of me.”