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Raikkonen 'will help Alonso'

2013-09-12 21:45


HELLO, AND GOODBYE: Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen (left) will join Ferrari in 2014, the team Felipe Massa will leave at the end of the 2013 season. Image: AFP

Whenever a new guy joins a team in F1 there seems to be a hassle about 'Who's No.1?' Raikkonen's arrival at Ferrari, the team says, will help, not hinder, incumbent Fernando Alonso.

MARANELLO, Italy - Ferrari says its decision to bring 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen back into the Formula 1 team in 2014 will help, not hurt, Fernando Alonso's chances.

Team principal Stefano Domenicali said on the Ferrari website: "For anybody thinking that the choice of Kimi is somehow an anti-Alonso choice, I can put their mind at rest. At Ferrari evereybody knows the interests of the team come first, then those of the individual.

"Fernando is a key asset for this team and will be for a long time."


He added: "I'm sure he is the first to be happy with a choice made to strengthen the group because he is too intelligent not to realise that a stronger team can only be an advantage."

Double World champion Alonso had, however, made clear before the appointment that he would be happy to continue with under-performing Brazilian Felipe Massa as his team mate. In comments on Wednesday, after the announcement from Maranello, the Spaniard paid tribute to the departing Massa and welcomed his new "travelling companion" without mentioning the Finn by name.

Domenicali said the Alonso/Raikkonen driver combination was the best Ferrari could have and both would start on equal terms. He also addressed concerns about Raikkonen's ability to work as a team player and his helping to develop and improve the car technically.


"Everybody has their own ways and you can't expect a Finn to start telling jokes in Italian or playing the clown," he said. "Honestly, I think the combination of Fernando's expressive and passionate Latin character and the cool style, to call it that, of Kimi seems to appeal to many.

"As for the technical side of things, not only do we know full well how much Kimi can contribute at an important time such as this but we also have first-hand information from James Allison as to how much the Finn has also progressed in this area over the past two years."

Allison was with Raikkonen at Lotus as technical director before starting work with Ferrari in September 2013.
Read more on:    ferrari  |  lotus  |  raikkonen  |  massa

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