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Alonso: 'Kimi was right choice'

2013-09-20 08:10

John O'Brien

SWOPPING MASSA FOR THE ICEMAN: Fernando Alonso believes Ferrari made the right call in signing up Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen to replace Felipe Massa in 2014. Image: AFP

Fernando Alonso expects to forge a strong relationship with Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen when the veteran driver returns to Ferrari in 2014. Alonso believes the team has made the right choice in replacing Felipe Massa.

SINGAPORE - Fernando Alonso expects to forge a strong relationship with Kimi Raikkonen in Ferrari in 2014 and believes the Lotus driver was the right choice for replacing Felipe Massa.

Massa has been with Ferrari since 2006 but the veteran was unable to secure his spot for 2014 and while he continues to look for a drive, his place will be taken by a man who claimed Ferrari's last World title six years ago.


Alonso said: "When Ferrari told me they were letting Felipe go they asked my opinion of his replacement. I said Kimi was the best out there in the market. There are many changes coming in 2014 so his many years of experience in Formula 1 will be vitally important when we develop the car in January and February."

Raikkonen brings with him a strong pedigree as a world class driver who can get the best out of any car, a reputation that is respected by Alonso but not seen as any extra motivation or one that will destabilise the team.

Alonso said: "The motivation is always to do my best all the time and I don't think anyone can push me more than I push myself now. Yes, we are world champions but I don't think that makes any difference and people were saying exactly the same thing about my relationship with Felipe when I arrived here (in 2010).

"He had been at Ferrari for many years so it would be a difficult relationship but he is one of the best friends I have here. 2014 will be the same."


For Massa, the final races of his Ferrari career are likely to be bittersweet but the still hopes to add one more victory to his tally of 11.

Massa said: "I will try to do the best I can over the last seven races. I think I have had a fantastic career with Ferrari for a long time. It is part of my story, eight years of my career at the same team and before that as a young driver. I have a lot of friends on the team so I want to finish in the best way possible.

"I will try the best I can and a victory would be a fantastic way to sign off. So I will push hard for that."

Despite being linked with a straight swap move for Raikkonen at Lotus, Massa did not reveal any details over his future plans other than his ambition to remain competitive.

Massa said: "About the future, I am talking to a number of teams and I need to work out what is the best for me. I still have a lot to do, I want to find a good car."

"I do not want to be in F1 just to be there on the grid, I want to be there fighting for the best results possible. I want to fight victories and for the championship. I hope I can find the right team as I know I have a lot to give."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Singapore GP weekend.

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