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Kimi tipped as 2014 favourite

2014-02-14 10:44

NEED A LIGHT? Kimi Raikkonen makes his return to Ferrari in 2014. Inset - Kimi enjoying a cigarette with his girlfriend. Image: Ferrari

LONDON, England - Of Formula 1's eleven teams, only Mercedes and Marussia are heading into the 2014 season with unchanged driver pairings

However, it's Ferrari's shake-up that has triggered the most discussion amongst fans.

Many disagree about which former champion, Fernando Alonso or the Ferrari returnee Kimi Raikkonen, will get the upper hand in the 2014 season.

Felipe Massa picks Alonso, because the Spaniard "combines talent with brains", but Mika Hakkinen thinks Raikkonen's smoother style is "perfect" for the high-torque turbos.

Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 world champion, is also betting on the Raikkonen but for a different reason.

'KIMI COULD CAPITALISE'

There are a few, older photos of Raikkonen smoking cigarettes circulating on the internet, but the latest series has been dated as 2014 and depicting the 34-year-old with his newest girlfriend Minttu.

So in the era of super-fit drivers like triathlon lover Jenson Button, Villeneuve thinks the 2014 rules might level the playing field for Raikkonen.

Speaking to Sky Sports Villeneuve said: "With the new rules, where basically the drivers won't have to drive on the edge the whole time, it won't be too physical, it could suit Kimi."

Villeneuve also thinks Raikkonen could capitalise on the relationship between Alonso and Ferrari, which was undoubtedly tense at times last year.

Villeneuve added: "In 2013 Alonso wasn't the golden boy of Ferrari anymore, the energy wasn't good anymore. They were all fighting internally and that's why they put Kimi in there.

"If we remember a few years ago it ended in tears with Kimi as well, so who knows what will happen."



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