Raikkonen ‘not anti-Alonso choice’ – Domenicali

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, 2013Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says Fernando Alonso has nothing to fear from the hiring of his new team mate.

Yesterday the team confirmed Kimi Raikkonen will replace Felipe Massa alongside Alonso for their 2014 campaign.

“For anyone thinking that the choice of Kimi is somehow an anti-Alonso choice, I can put their minds at rest,” Domenicali told the team’s website, “at Ferrari, everyone knows the interests of the team come first and only then those of the individual.”

“Fernando is a key asset for this team and he will be for a long time. 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.”

It’s been six decades since Ferrari last had two world champions driving for them as they have usually preferred to pair a strong number one driver with a weaker team mate. Last year president Luca di Montezemolo said “I don?t want to have two roosters in the same hen house”.

Domenicali addressed what he called “the poultry question”, saying “it brings to mind football fans who are scared of rival teams because they have so many strong forwards and so they hope they will fight each other for the ball”.

“Nothing will change in the way the team is run,” Domenicali added. “Since the world began, our drivers have always started on equal terms. It?s always been that way and always will.”

“Then, during the course of the season, if the situation is such that one driver can help the other based on the points table, it?s logical and right that it should happen. It?s happened in the past and will happen in the future, as all drivers who have driven a Ferrari have demonstrated.

“It occurred at the time of [Juan Manuel] Fangio and [Peter] Collins and more recently with [Mika] Salo and [Eddie] Irvine, when the Finn gave up on his only chance of a win in Formula 1 to help his team-mate, as Raikkonen was helped by Felipe [Massa], before repaying the compliment and again with Felipe and Fernando.”

Domenicali believes no other team will be a match for Ferrari’s line-up next year: “The combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in Formula One, in terms of talent, experience, competitive spirit and the ability to move car development forward.”

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102 comments on Raikkonen ‘not anti-Alonso choice’ – Domenicali

  1. Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 12th September 2013, 8:47

    TBH I think the two personalities will work really well together.

    • I think it’s an anti-other-teams choice, Ferrari has now the strongest line-up for 2014, Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren and Lotus will fear, if they don’t already do…

      • PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 12th September 2013, 23:27

        I think I mentioned before but Mclaren has the worst driver line up of all the top teams today. In fact, if one would care to look at it carefully, it would be safe to say that Button/Perez is the worst driver line up Mclaren has had over the past 30 years. @jeff1s

    • I think Alonso is more worried about having a strong car than a strong team mate. 2013 Alonso is not 2007 Alonso and he’s got over that experience against Hamilton.

      Ferrari must build a car capable of fighting for wins from Australia to Brazil. Kimi is pretty good but the other talent that must deliver is James Allison.

      Mercedes, on paper, will be up there. Like Lewis said a few there’s ago, as long as Red Bull’s tech department is ketp together, they will be competitive (and probably the ones to beat) and I think Ferrari has what it takes to be up there too.

      Once Seb is about to put and to this season, with Kimi going back to Italy, new regulations, Dan at Red Bull, Mercedes “10 cooks” and the longest season ever, I can’t wait for 2014. My main concern being the usual instability that comes with new regulations, occasionally presenting us with a random dominant car.

    • Agreed, both Alonso and Raikonnen show great signs of maturity. They’re also very experienced, so they both know what to expect.

  2. Todfod (@todfod) said on 12th September 2013, 8:51

    Well chosen words from Stefano.. and good timing on the statement.

    I’m sure a lot of fans thought, the move for Raikkonen was to ‘Put Alonso in his place’ . The fact is that Alonso will not have problem with Kimi. Sure, Kimi won’t move over for him, but he will end up taking more points off his rivals than Massa could manage.

    I think its a strategic call for both Ferrari and Fernando.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th September 2013, 9:00

      This is an interesting read giving a bit of insight in how inner team relations work.
      I am very sure that it was indeed partly because the team felt that they needed someone who could challenge (and thereby push along) Alonso a bit.
      Given that its likely that Red Bull/Vettel will still be ahead next year, this way at least they can profit from a less experienced guy in the second Red Bull and have a shot at the constructors title too. That is a viable target for them, although Ferrari hasn’t bothered with it for some years now.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 12th September 2013, 9:03

      Do you mean Alonso can help take more points off Kimi’s WDC rivals than Grosjean could manage? ;)
      (sorry, I couldn’t resist)

    • Sure Kimi didnt have could seasons in 08 and 09 but it still doesnt mean he wont beat Fernanado

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 12th September 2013, 10:34

      @todfod Kimi will also take more points off Alonso than Massa ever did. Because the points gaps increase as you get further to the sharp end (7 points between P1 and P2, vs 1 point between P9 and P10) there is a far greater penalty to having your teammate finish ahead of you, as opposed to your teammate taking points off others.

      Alonso, of course, will take more points off Raikkonen than Massa ever did, too

      • Yeah this is why i think the argument of “he will take more points off his rivals and thus help Alonso” is a bit of a false economy (if that’s the right phrase). The only benefits are if Alonso DNFs or finishes further behind than his other rivals.

        If Alonso finishes ahead (as he would be almost guaranteed of against Massa), the most Raikkonen could take from other rivals is 3 points (difference from 2nd to 3rd). Whereas if Alonso finishes behind, Raikkonen could take 7 points off him.

        Overall i don’t think Raikkonen joining will give Alonso a better chance of winning the driver’s championship. But will be fun to watch which is all i care about ;)

        • astonished (@astonished) said on 12th September 2013, 15:34

          Economy is a social science, maths on the other hand are pure science,
          You can take any (or as many) fer-Felipe years an just move Felipe several places up and re-calculate standings. You will see if would have been better or worse for Fernando with a sensitivity analysis by “how much” better.
          I haven’t bothered to do it, but pretty sure a number cruncher at Ferrari has already done it.

          Sure Keith can do it fast and nice looking as well, with colourful graphs…

          By the way, before entering a row over Germany 2010, everybody can feel free to adjust the model by re-setting result to before ” Fernando is faster than you” 😃

        • GonePlaid said on 12th September 2013, 17:11

          The move is less about the Drivers Championship than about the Constructors. I think that the combined consistency of Fernando and Kimi will put the Constructors in easy reach of Ferrari. I don’t see VET + RIC scoring more that ALO + RAI. They keep on saying the team is more important than any driver – they’re just acting on that.

    • Well chosen words from Stefano

      I think not. Who is he trying to kid when after they have admitted they have been a one-rooster team for 6 decades, that their drivers have always started each season on equal terms. Yeah right…I guess what he means by that is that MS got to drive a car built for him, and RB got to drive a car built for MS too.

      • Who is he trying to kid when after they have admitted they have been a one-rooster team for 6 decades, that their drivers have always started each season on equal terms.

        Yeah who was the rooster in 2007, 2008 and 2009?

        • I don’t know…I think it was supposed to be KR, but I’m not the Ferrari principle who has proudly beat his chest over having the one-rooster philosophy all along. Ask him.

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 12th September 2013, 19:56

        @robbie
        There was no rooster in the Massa-Raikkonen era, nor was there a rooster in the Alesi-Berger era, nor was there a rooster in the Pironi-Villeneuve era. Your statement is laughable.

        • My statement? Again, I’m not the one touting the philosophy…Ferrari is. I actually took heart when it appeared that FM and KR seemed to be on equal footing, and I’m not sure if they were or not, but post-MS I suspect the team had a different flavour to it, and since even just last year Ferrari were branding themselves as a one-rooster team, I don’t think it is a stretch to think that they may have expected KR to be their rooster but it just wasn’t the same massive effort for him as when MS was there. I don’t think KR is that kind of player.

          I don’t think Alesi-Berger nor Pironi-Villeneuve (my main man always and forever) is relevant to this conversation. I think the real roostering began with MS and it was to an unprecedented degree. If they took a break while they sorted themselves out post-MS, so be it, but they were back touting it last year nonetheless. It’s not an accusation on my part, it’s an admission on theirs.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 13th September 2013, 7:25

            @robbie
            I quote your very post:

            I think not. Who is he trying to kid when after they have admitted they have been a one-rooster team for 6 decades, that their drivers have always started each season on equal terms.

            Raikkonen was very much the rooster at McLaren, he was Ron’s favorite ahead of Coulthard and Montoya. However, Ferrari actually gave Massa an equal chance to Kimi, and he took it to full effect.

            So which team is the one with the rooster-policy again? McLaren or Ferrari?

            I don’t think Alesi-Berger nor Pironi-Villeneuve (my main man always and forever) is relevant to this conversation. I think the real roostering began with MS and it was to an unprecedented degree.

            Your previous comment claimed that Ferrari have been using the one-rooster mentality for the past 6 decades. Who are you trying to fool? Don’t contradict yourself.

            It’s not an accusation on my part, it’s an admission on theirs.

            It’s very much an accusation on your behalf.

            Massa and Alonso raced each other hard in the early races of 2010, such as Australia, Malaysia, and China. They raced each other quite hard again at Malaysia and China in 2011, with Massa finishing ahead in both races. Felipe was also allowed to race Fernando at Australia this year.

            Do you not see a pattern. Ferrari do allow their drivers to race early on in the season, and don’t apply team orders until it’s clear that one driver is in a much better long-term position in the WDC (eg. Germany 2010).

            There’s only one team that has ever applied team orders in the first race of the season (Australia 1998). Here’s a hint: It isn’t Ferrari.

      • Breno (@austus) said on 13th September 2013, 1:02

        So I assume Brawn really hates Barrichello and supported Button over him in 2009?

  3. Kanman1 said on 12th September 2013, 8:52

    Fire vs Ice

    Leader vs Aloof

    workaholic vs laid back

    Extreme Understeer vs Extreme Oversteer

    Like to mix up with factory guys and treat them as family vs Its best to leave him alone

    Work as late as possible after gp vs Leave as soon as possible after gp.

    You can’t find a more different personality. Its gonna be great.

    • alonso will only and rightly be annoyed if he is the one doing all the work and kimi turns up whenever and wins with his hard work.

      i dont know what the answer to that is and i dont know kimi’s new contract is but if ferrari have an ounce of sense they would of put some heavy demands in his contract relating to his work load and input. Kimi needs them more than they need him, but sadly i dont think ferrari were thinking like that when they signed Kimi.

      I must admit being slightly bemused by it all and by all the kimi will put him in his place talk. Kimi didnt put massa in his place and at times has had Romain be much quicker than him(yet erratic & inconsistent)

      also the kimi wont do team orders thing makes me laugh, does anyone remember how he won his only title??

      • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 13th September 2013, 0:00

        I think that the”hard work” was more relevant during Schumacher era when they were allowed in-season testing. The last few years, with the testing banned, there was not much for the driver to do. Apart from analyzing the telemetry from the race or the practice and giving a feedback I can’t imagine what else a driver could do. They are not engineers or mechanics to work on the car. Next year with the in-season testing on again Kimi will have to work bit more.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 12th September 2013, 8:53

    at Ferrari, everyone knows the interests of the team come first

    Which team is he talking about, Alonso’s team or Raikkonen’s team?

    Joking aside, I’m wondering if they have specifically agreed on when exactly the lowest scoring driver should start to “help the other based on the points table”. For instance, Massa has let Alonso past on several occasions when both were still mathematically in contention for the championship.

    • It takes a long time for any driver to be ‘mathematically out of contention’ for the championship. For example Massa is still mathematically in contention for the driver’s championship, and before Monza every driver in the field was ;)

      So i think there will have to be a slightly vague ‘realistically in contention’ point at which either driver may support the other.

      • Even though I am not a fan of the one-rooster concept, I defended Ferrari when they ordered FM to let FA go mid-season of 2010 because it wasn’t just about FM still being mathematically in it, it was about the Red Bull’s being perceived as being extremely tough competitors that year and needing to decide on the spur of the moment when they had an opportunity to close the points gap to RBR that day, to put it behind the driver with the greater number of points.

        In other words, I expect that next year they will decide between an earned number 1 and a necessary number 2 when they see how the rest of the field is doing. The longer the season goes without anyone running away with the Championship, the longer all teams can keep their drivers in the fight.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th September 2013, 8:55

    Sure, he would say that, wouldn’t he. I think Alonso does realize that it means Ferrari want to push him along a bit too, and that means he is not “fully in charge” anymore. He will have to press his domination on the team again.

    • Girts (@girts) said on 12th September 2013, 9:51

      @BasCB I think there are many reasons why Ferrari made the unexpected decision to re-hire Raikkonen but sometimes you need a change or change’s sake and I believe that this could be one of those cases. As Einstein said, the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

      Alonso-Massa pairing hasn’t managed to win any titles. Massa has gifted points to Alonso but he has failed to finish between Alonso and Vettel a few times as well. One cannot know if Ferrari would have won a championship or two with a different second driver since 2010 but the fact is that the “one rooster” policy wasn’t enough to deliver the results they tried to get. The current situation probably demotivates Ferrari employees and makes managers look like they’re not up to the job, which is why they have to try something different.

      • I agree with that @girts. When I mentioned that Dominicaly is not saying everything, that does not mean that I don’t think it was the right thing to do.

        Everyone needs shaking up a bit. I also think that 2007 learnt Alonso a lot about himself and helped make him the incredible driver he was last year.
        I read that Boullier thinks part of the reason for Kimi might be seeking the kind of challenge that Button was looking for when he went to McLaren – to beat one of the known great drivers at his own turf, and I think that is a great motivation (I think it helped Hamilton get a lot better too, and Button rose to the occasion as well). It also shows the Kimi who goes to Ferrari is different from the one they sacked in 2009 – I doubt he had a goal for himself then.

        Its uncomfortable for Ferrari, and uncomfortable for Alonso. But their current plan (Alonso-Massa) showed to be flawed because they couldn’t quite match the other teams on pace with their car AND having an underperforming 2nd driver meant losing out on the WCC.

  6. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 12th September 2013, 8:56

    “Domenicali believes no other team will be a match for Ferrari’s line-up next year: “The combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in Formula One, in terms of talent, experience, competitive spirit and the ability to move car development forward.””

    When you cut through all the hype and marketing speak from the teams you can’t really argue with this comment, Alonso / Raikkonen is a fantasy league pairing come to life. When you compare the line up with their rivals you would have to say these two, as a pairing, have the edge over everyone else. Next season Red Bull have a four time world champion and a driver who will be finding his feet at the sharp end of the grid. McLaren will have Button and Perez who are a pretty solid pairing but I don’t think they will be team’s first choice if they had their pick of the field. Mercedes line up is the only one which is close as a pairing in my book, but Rosberg’s relative lack of success lets the side down for the purposes of this exercise, though he is now very much in the “proven winner” category of drivers.

    2014 is going to be a great season for many reasons, but the potential of this Ferrari driver line-up is one of the major ones. I can’t wait to see what happens.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th September 2013, 9:05

      @geemac I think only Mercedes could match Ferrari combination. but It’s only when Nico and Hamilton match each other closely. for now, when Nico excels, Hamilton doesn’t and vice versa. I wonder this is caused by driving style but I’m not sure.

      of course I wonder how Kimi and Alonso’s different styles would unfold. It would be fascinating.

      • clappy (@danielc) said on 13th September 2013, 1:56

        Eggry im afraid Nico is no match now for Hamilton, Hamilton is doing a much better job do you really think if Ham had no puncture he would get beat by a Sauber? Look at the last few races you have to go way back to Monaco. Ever since Ham has been easily better, Spa Qually is the time Ros was much better he got unlucky. Silverstone he was no match was v lucky to win and look at qually h2h aswell considering Ros had 3 poles in a row early on Ham as really took over. I was worried initially by Ros being a Ham fan but im not no more, who agree’s?

    • The combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in Formula One

      If “by could have” he means availability of drivers and money, I’d agree with him, otherwise, if I had a team and money to burn I could come up with an alternative duo:

      Sebatian Vettel + Lewis Hamilton

      • @jcost that’s a partnership I desperately want to see – qualifying would just be epic. :D

        • @vettel1 Qualifying would be fantastic with those two in the same team. It would be much better than Alonso vs Raikkonen will be if I’m honest. I can’t see those two fighting for too many front row starts, unless the Ferrari is 2002/2004-esque dominant.

          • @deej92 the only way I can really see Vettel and Hamilton in the same team is if Vettel takes an open space at a competitive Mercedes. Otherwise, I think it’ll elude us – Ferrari seems his most likely destination (after Alonso has departed).

            Who knows though, maybe Hülkenberg or someone will be in Ferrari at that time and they’ll be the new one that everybody wants to compete with ;)

        • @vettel1 unfortunately it’s highly unlikely. Vettel will go to Ferrari when Newey leaves Red Bull, otherwise he’ll stay put. Even if they get it wrong in 2014, they’ll fix it and will be up there in 2015.

  7. Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th September 2013, 9:02

    As long as cars are good enough to win consistently, as long as Alonso would not be beaten by Kimi, everything will be ok.

  8. Webbo (@webbo82) said on 12th September 2013, 9:14

    Couple of thoughts from me:
    1) It’s funny that Ferrari are now the only team with two (WDC) ‘roosters’ for 2014.
    2) I can’t wait to see ALO’s first attempt to put RAI publicly in his place (pit lane entry on MAS, anyone?)

  9. TMF (@tmf42) said on 12th September 2013, 9:14

    Still can’t shake the feeling that there is more to it, but who knows.
    So far the team comes first policy matched nicely with Alonso’s own ambitions to go after the WDC. But if Kimi starts beating him then the WDC becomes an uphill battle and we’ll see if he learned anything since 07.
    If he can handle Kimi then it could actually pay off and make his life easier because Kimi will take more points off the rivals than Massa.

    Will be interesting to watch – though Ferrari also has quite a task at hand to build a good engine / car for next year. Even with Allison, Fry and Byrne – it’s still not that easy to go up against Merc, RB and McLaren.

  10. BasCB (@bascb) said on 12th September 2013, 9:22

    Interesting - this Finnish article mentions that part of the negotiations was also an apology from Luca to Kimi! And he got it in person

    • Whatever we have seen or heard from luca I don’t think he is the kind of person who acknowledges his mistakes even if he thinks he made one… and this story appeared only in Finnish media also makes it a little difficult to beleive…

  11. Dave (@raceprouk) said on 12th September 2013, 9:28

    Since the world began, our drivers have always started on equal terms.

    Seems it’s not only the fans that have selective memories; someone may want to remind him about Austria 2002…

  12. Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 12th September 2013, 10:05

    By the time 2014 comes around, Ferrari’s two drivers will have 23 years of F1 experience between them. The next closest will be McLaren with 16 (14 of which will be Button’s), then Mercedes on 15. Kimi and Fernando have experienced a LOT of F1 rule and regulation changes, and their huge shared experience shouldn’t be underestimated compared to the Newey/Vettel combo going into next year.

    Kimi and Fernando will adapt brilliantly to the huge 2014 changes, and provided Ferrari do the same (which I wouldn’t bet against with James Allison coming aboard) I think the Constructors Championship trophy could finally be set to leave Milton Keynes.

  13. Jason (@jason12) said on 12th September 2013, 10:07

    Alonso has nothing to fear here.
    Driver talent order is as follows:
    1. Lewis Hamilton
    2. Fernando Alonso
    3. Kimi Raikonenn
    4. Sebastian Vettel

    • Poor Seb, no love for the triple WDC?

    • Nickpkr251 said on 12th September 2013, 12:09

      Funny HAM is on top on your list, what has he done others haven’t ? IMHO is at the same level than Button or Webber.
      HAM had the chance Vettel has now, but blew it, HAM is not a multiple WDC talent or dedication, is a one off lucky by one point.

      • Really? Button and Webber? C’mon.

      • clappy (@danielc) said on 13th September 2013, 1:52

        So is kimi lucky then? And Ham is beating webber lol, Ham is wey better than But and Webber, he as had 1 bad year 2011 yet still won 3 races, last year was arguably his best year my friend. Look at his win and pole stats he is in the conversation of 1 of the greats, when it is all said and done Ham will be top 2 in qually stats and top 3 in race wins. He will be ahead of Alo that’s for sure. Vet will have more championships but I think if Ham wins just 1 more wtitle he will be an alltime great. Bring back refuelling, 2007, 2008, 2009 nice tyres he would absoloute dominate. Go watch 2007 mate if you don’t think he is great people always say that was his top but its hard to do that well when people will say its his rookie year. Best year ever by a rookie h2h with the “samurai” Alo.

    • i think kimi is the most talented. he’s the most lazy among the top 4, yet remain so competitive. Imagine if he’s a workaholic.

    • bull mello (@bullmello) said on 12th September 2013, 16:47

      Obviously, a list like this is totally subjective and could be argued from now until eternity. Besides, pure driver skill is one thing. How it is applied through each car, track, conditions and any other endless variables is a movable calculation absolutely.

    • All up for debate and with a subjective definition @jason12! Does talent mean one lap pace, race pace, consistency, ability to drag difficult cars round tracks, ability to utilise the full potential of your machinery, overtaking, technical ability…? ;)

  14. dimitris said on 12th September 2013, 10:12

    Kimi will be a formidable force for Alonso to reckon with. He did not go back to Ferrari for the money, as some claim, but to show them how wrong they were for dismissing him in 2009. That would be his way of taking his revenge. He will be fully motivated and will work, in his own way, very hard. After the recent comments by Alonso, the team will rally around Kimi. The move by Ferrari was indeed against Alonso who had outgrown his breaches. His teammate will be the person who was unceremoniously fired to make room for him, and is the last driver to have won a WCC and a WDC with the team. And he now returns as a much improved driver, highly recommended by James Allisson who after the Australian race won by Kimi was in awe. He commented that Kimi ‘only broke traction twice during the whole race while having mind – blowing-pace’.

  15. Or: Lewis Hamilton == Fernando Alonso == Kimi Raikonenn == Sebastian Vettel
    There’s not much to choose between the ‘big 4′ I think. If only there were 4 Ferrari seats ;)

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