Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren's Spanish test driver, has ruled out Renault as a serious title contender in 2009.

Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren's Spanish test driver, has ruled out Renault as a serious title contender in 2009.

His countryman Fernando Alonso won two of the final four grands prix last year, but the birth of the 2008 machine's successor, the R29, has been troubled, and the car is usually slowest on the pre-season test timesheets.

Speaking with Spain's new F1 television broadcaster La Sexta, 37-year-old de la Rosa said he expects usual suspects McLaren and Ferrari to battle for the championship.

"I hope I am wrong and that there are others," McLaren's reserve driver admitted.

He said that despite the huge changes to the regulations, the test results so far depict a close contest.

But when asked if Renault could be the surprise of the season, de la Rosa instead said that Williams looks likely to make a major improvement this year.

 

 

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