Alonso's 2010 championship diagnosis
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso expects technical changes this season to make for an unpredictable Formula 1 season.
The two-time world champion, who finished runner-up last season, was speaking ahead of the start of the 2011 opening race in Melbourne this weekend.
"There are so many new things this year from the moveable rear wing to the return of Kers and especially, the new Pirelli tyres," he said.
"We'll see more pit-stops, and strategy will be the key to the final result."
Pit-stops are a particularly sensitive subject at Ferrari after a tactical blunder in the final race of last season contributed to Alonso being beaten to the title by Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
A top-two finish in the Abu Dhabi race, or top-five if Vettel had won, would have been enough to secure Alonso's third world title.
But an early pit-stop strategy backfired and Alonso ended up coming home in seventh, a result which led to Chris Dyer being replaced as head of race track engineering in a close-season team reshuffle.
And pit-stops are likely to prove key again this season after Pirelli replaced Bridgestone as tyre suppliers, with the tyres specifically designed to be less durable in an effort to increase the number of pit-stops.
"Qualifying will now be less important, given that an increase in pit- stops will add uncertainty to the way the races turn out: our pit stop guys will definitely have more work to do," said Alonso on his blog on the Ferrari website.
Team orders are useful - Alonso
But he waved away suggestions from drivers such as Red Bull's Mark Webber that technology such as adjustable rear wings were an unnecessary distraction and could even be potentially dangerous to drivers.
"These past weeks, there has been a lot of talk about the possible difficulty of managing all the controls we have in the car, especially on the steering wheel," Alonso said.
"Quite frankly, I don't think there will be any problems, at least on the safety front. When all is said and done, we are professional drivers and we have to be capable of adapting to any situation.
"Even when it comes to running the moveable rear wing, I don't think there will be problems."