2009 looks set to be a very close season at the top of formula one, according to Ferrari test driver Marc Gene.
It was predicted that the sweeping regulation changes for this year might spread out the field, but the Spaniard thinks the indications of the winter test tracks show otherwise.
Ferrari most recently tested alongside BMW-Sauber and Toyota in Bahrain, and Gene told Diario AS that "we were a little quicker than BMW but it was very even.
"They are very close and (Christian) Klien has told me that they are also optimistic.
"We are pleased with our work but the championship looks more equal than ever. Apart from Ferrari and BMW, I see the fight for the title as also including McLaren and Renault.
"Alonso was much quicker (than before) at Jerez and I do not rule him out at all. Red Bull, Toyota and Williams are also close; there are seven teams within three or four tenths."
Gene believes the March tests will give an even better indication of Melbourne form, particularly when he thinks there are some teams "working to change their rear diffuser".