Pedro de la Rosa believes Formula 1 racing will not change much this year despite the introduction of new tires by Pirelli.
The tire maker has decided to alter its compounds in order to reduce the gap between the softer and the harder tires, hoping that racing will be even better than last year. Although some drivers like Nico Rosberg said the new compounds will have a "big impact" in the racing, de la Rosa reckons there will not be a significant difference.
"I don't think it will change much, because I think that we are still looking at, let's say, an average of two to three stops per race if not more," said de la Rosa. "The fact that the hard is softer will only push into more stops, so I don't think it will change much. But it will not help the drivers that like the very hard compound or the teams that manage to warm up the compounds.
"It helps the little teams like us, where we would have had more issues with the hard compound – especially when it is cold."
De la Rosa conceded, however, that the tires had changed significantly in comparison to last year's rubber.
"The hard, especially, is a big difference. It is a lot softer and the gaps between them – especially the hard and the medium is much, much smaller. Much smaller, basically."
The Spaniard, who will return to racing with HRT this year, said last week's test with his new team was irrelevant for the squad as it was testing its 2011 car.
"It is irrelevant, to be honest," said the Spaniard. "I don't think there is anything that will be a carry-over to the other car, so the testing is purely to get the team together, to keep the guys experienced to work on an F1 car, under a pressure environment and make the people that are experienced have the chance of teaching the people who are new, and for me to get the rust away.
"It is true we have learned on the tires as well, because they are quite different from what I experienced last year and that is a bonus for us to come out here. I was not expecting to learn much about the tires, but I was happy that Pirelli was bringing soft, medium and hard, because this is a bonus for us."