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. Now that kimi’s deal is finalized with Ferrari, I am thinking what made him choose Ferrari over Red Bulls. I mean Ferrari is more political than Red Bull. Also it is likely that Red Bull might again be the team to beat in 2014 (they may fall back in order,it is possible) and Seb and Kimi share good repo with each other than Kimi and Alonso. What made kimi sign for ferrari. Is it really possible that Seb also doesnt like to have a competitive team mate? Or was it too much pressure on Horner from Helmut Marko to sign Ricciardo instead of Kimi.?

    • Kimi4WDC said on 12th September 2013, 11:02

      Maybe because everyone except Alonso and LdM are happy to work with him :)

    • Well What makes you think Vettel and Kimi get along well than Kimi and Alonso, because vettel said so? I remember Alonso saying sometime back about the F1 drivers he get along well with the most and Kimi was one of them… TBH Kimi has never said he gets along well with Vettel more than Alonso or vice versa…

      • For all we know, since I do believe KR and RBR were close to a deal but couldn’t agree on everything, perhaps RBR were never really that interested in KR, or else they would have sweetened the deal…made sure he didn’t walk from the table. So I question whether RBR were ever serious about KR or just wanted to appear to be a two-rooster team, and enjoy the publicity the hype brought at the same time.

      • @puneethvb

        Actually Kimi rarely says anything. He just goes on track and let his racing do the talking. :)
        He isnt the person who gets involved in politics and say that he likes this, that etc etc…

      • Actually Kimi has said, that you really can’t be friends in F1, but Seb is closest to one.

    • Deb Luhi (@debeluhi) said on 13th September 2013, 1:43

      I think it’s normal that everybody would try to make their life easier. If Seb had any say in who’ll be his teammate he’ll prefer the less experienced Ric. Although that is a double-edged sword, it would hurt less if he ‘s to be beaten by Rai. In a same way it’s normal for Alonso to prefer if Massa stayed. He knows him well and there will be no surprises, which can’t be said when Rai comes.
      I don’t think any drivers are real friends. They may go for a coffee with some of them from time to time, like Button and DiResta because they leave close or play badminton in the case of Rai and Seb because, again, they leave close. Their job doesn’t allow close friendship.

      • @debeluhi
        I agree with you that no 2 drivers are close friends, but by seb and kimi sharing good repo I meant that it wont be a case like seb and mark where we have seen some tension in the respective side of garages. With Alonso and Kimi , things might heat up but lets hope it isnt 2007 again and we can really see Alonso and Kimi giving Seb a run for his money if RB is again leader of the pack. :)

        @robbie
        I think you are right in saying RB were never really interested in getting Kimi’s services, coz if they wanted him they could have sweetened the deal. But by hiring kimi there young driver programme would have looked stupid and waste of money, so they went with Ricciardo.

  2. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 12th September 2013, 11:16

    As much as I think this is the right choice for Ferrari, one that really shows a long for much needed radical change, I honestly think that Alonso still has a “2007″ inside of him and Ferrary should be aware of that.
    It’s evidently growing frustation in missing a WDC since 2006, and should the chance finally really arise (because the way He speak about Vettel, I don’t think He consider 2010 and 2012 as seasons in which He had on-par equipment, even though He did) only to find himself edged by Raikkonen, basically anything could happen. I’d start by booking two pit spots for Hungary…

    • He speak about Vettel, I don’t think He consider 2010 and 2012 as seasons in which He had on-par equipment, even though He did)
      that is a lie, because in 2010 Alonso had pretty good car, but Ferrari failed to improve it in the latest stage of that season. Secondly, 2012 was far off the pace (esp. in qualifying). Alonso was ridiculously stable, while Red Bull/Vettel wasn’t. (It was pure luck in Valencia for Alonso where all 40+ adv. in points was done).
      Secondly, Alonso said that Ferrari didn’t deserved a title last year because they hadn’t car fast enough.
      Try to rethink what you think.

  3. petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 12th September 2013, 11:28

    I absolutely can’t wait for next year now!

    “Kimi, Alonso is faster than you. Do you understand?”

    “LEAVE ME ALONE!”

    :D

    • …. Kimi in front of Alonso..

      Ferrari: “Fernando, push all you can and use your talent, we know how big it is”
      Alonso: “But… He’s too far!”

      ;)

    • There was a version of the same joke I read on different site:

      “Kimi, Fernando is faster than you. Confirm you understood the message.”
      “Leave me alone, I know what to do!”
      [Kimi speeds up]
      Alonso: “Now you let him go! Guys you are so stupid! Mamma mia!”

    • @petebaldwin

      The “LEAVE ME ALONE!” does not work with Ferrari. He has signed the contract… AKA he will obey, if an order comes….same goes for Alonso.
      In case if they don’t, they have break the contract rules and the punishment is very very expensive economically speaking (more than the salary) …and all Ferrari’s drivers know this.

  4. karter22 (@karter22) said on 12th September 2013, 11:53

    Like I said in another roundup, ALO really doesn´t have anything to fear about KIMI. ALO put grosjean in his place while they were team mates and so KIMI shouldn´t be a problem in that sense but, I truly believe that sparks will fly. I think KIMI will not budge if ALO is in a better position in the WDC and that worries me. I hope Ferrari has done it´s homework while writing up those contracts. This is the oportunity to become world champions once again or the oportunity to come off like the laughing stock of F1.
    I just hope Kimi has grown up from the icescream days and I really hope he puts the bottle down for the season.

    • you kidding me?? the rookie Romain that just subbed in for few races while Alo was the main man??

      Fisi couldn’t even touch kimi’s gearbox when he switched to ferrari in 2009.

      Write off kimi at your own peril.

    • Matthew said on 12th September 2013, 16:19

      I don’t think you should compare the stats when Kimi 2012-2013 and Fernando 2009 had Grosjean as teammate. Grosjean was a rookie back in 2009 jumping in that Renault in the middle of the season, to a same car Alonso had been driving all season. And drivers normally get quicker over years until they reach their peak. So if Alonso beat Grosjean back in 2009 it does not tell you too much does it, the quali lap times were sometimes not too far off between these two back then on some weekends, not that they still are between Kimi and Grosjean. But Kimi still has been beating Grosjean on most weekends both races and in quali. So when normally all F1 drivers get faster after a few years in F1 grid, I am not surprised Alonso beat Grosjean in a team and car he knew very well. I think next year everyone will understand how fast Grosjean actually is over 1 lap these days. Most of the weekends he is very close to Kimis lap times in qualification, but not in race.. I believe next season over 1 lap Alonso and Kimi will be as close as lets say Lewis and Alonso were 2007, so in quali 50/50 there and come the race days it will be 50/50 again. Lewis was a rookie against Alonso, it is safe to say he has gained a few tenths since then. By this logic we can easily say that Lewis has also gained a few tenths since then, which makes him a few tents quicker than Alonso today over one lap if they were driving the same car now. Just saying it is not easy to compare experienced drivers, when you compare one of them driving against rookie Grosjean and the other to a Grosjean who has now raced what 30-40 GP´s. Next year we will get a good idea how fast these now experienced drivers are compared to each others. One thing remains the same, we will still don’t know for sure how fast Vettel is in that Redbull, as he has never had one of the other big 3 as his teammate.

  5. andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th September 2013, 11:54

    “at Ferrari, everyone knows the interests of the team come first and only then those of the individual.”

    I don’t get their logic here. You would say it implies that Ferrari are going first and foremost for the constructors championship, but then again why would they tell Massa that Alonso is faster than him three years ago? And why would they keep a driver that consistently scores half the points of his teammate for so long?

    So the individual somehow is good for the team, so why would the team’s interest come first? I don’t get that statement.

    • I think Ferrari values WDC more than the WCC… the statement can be be viewed this way as well… Say Massa come end of the season is leading a race and Alonso is second… and Alonso could win the championship if he wins the race .. Ferrari would want Massa to move over for Alonso as that means one of their drivers wins the WDC… In otherwords Massa’s interests as an individual (that is to win the race) comes only after Ferrari’s interest (That is to win the WDC)… I am not saying that’s the right approach but that’s what SD is trying to say here IMO.

      • andae23 (@andae23) said on 12th September 2013, 14:46

        But why would you say the individual championship is more the team’s interest than the team performance? Just say “the WDC championship is our main priority” – that’s all I want. They keep it vague by saying the team’s interest is more important. I know it’s just a matter of verbalizing, but it bugs me so much!

    • Because the car that gets number 1 is that of the WDC. Also, in the public what appeals more is the WDC. Easy :)

    • Chad (@chaddy) said on 12th September 2013, 18:07

      The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Ferrari is a Vulcan company.

  6. Domenicali mention Salo helping Irvine, but what about Schumacher doing all he could to help Irvine win the championship at the end of 99. Schumacher comes back after at the Malaysian Grand Prix after missing six races and sticks it on pole by a second. Start of the race builds up a big gap, then slows down to hand the win to Irvine.

    Schumacher is the guy who went to Ferrari to return them to greatness, it was his ability as a leader that gelled that team. Ferrari gave him cars woefully off the pace year after year, he was head and shoulders above all other drivers during the period, no-one deserved that first Ferrari title since 1979 more than Schumacher for he was the reason they were competitive again, yet he was doing everything in his power to help Irvine win the title and doing so with complete grace.

    That’s what people forget when they bring up Austria 2002. McLaren started that business of drivers pulling over to let their teammate win. Schumacher did Irvine a huge favour in 1999. It was Barrichello’s turn in Austria 2002 since he was so far out of contention of the championship.

  7. GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 12th September 2013, 12:11

    I know there are a lot of fans that keep going back to 2007 & suggesting that Fernando will sulk or whatever if Kimi manages to be faster than him consistently, I’m not expecting that as 2007 was a different set of circumstances.

    Fernando’s issues in 2007 were not a simple case of Lewis been a match or beating him (Although that was a part of it), It was the whole way the team were interacting with the 2 drivers that started an impression about who the team preferred to win.
    I don’t think Fernando’s family/friends helped matters as pretty early into the year they stopped going into the McLaren garage to watch races due to the way the mechanics always seemed to be rooting for Lewis more than Fernando due to the fact most of them had known Lewis for a couple years.

    Well before the events of Hungary & even before any trouble had started you could actually see a bit of that just been down there during qualifying sessions & races & watching how the mechanics reacted to the highs/lows of each driver. When Lewis got a pole or won a race the entire team exploded with joy & were jumping around screaming & celebrating like they had won the championship, When Fernando did the same you just saw some normal celebrations with clapping & smiles.

    Since I don’t see any of that happening at Ferrari, Especially given how Alonso had built the team around him the past few years, I don’t see there been a problem between Alonso & Kimi who both already get on extremely well anyway.

  8. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 12th September 2013, 12:17

    If Kimi and Fernando respect each other (which i think it is the case) then Ferrari has nothing to fear from pairing them, i can see only the competition fearing especially the Bull’s who had the opportunity to sign Kimi and signed a Ricciardo instead of him, we just have to wait maybe Dan is prepared enough to be in a top team but Perez comes to my mind.
    The benefit would be great on other aspects too, Kimi & Fernando are very known to adapt very quickly to regulations change because they experienced many of them during their career.
    The only driver line up that could match Kimi & Fernando is Vettel & Hamilton but that’s unlikely to happen in the next 2 years ,ironically the Bull’s have also the chance to sign Lewis in 2013 but they didn’t
    Things change dramatically in F1, i think that if Red Bull don’t build a dominant car and the top teams are close in term of performance i can see them behind Ferrari & Mercedes in the WCC

  9. Either Domenicalli is the Horse Whisperer or hyperbole is contagious at Ferrari. “Since the world began, our drivers have always started on equal terms.” Say whaaa? Unless there’s a ‘championship’ missing from that quote @keithcollantine ?

    • I find SD is being totally untruthful with that line. You can’t tell me that on the one hand they openly admit they are a one-rooster team, or at least have been for the last 6 decades according to recent articles, while at the same time saying their drivers start off the year on equal terms. That’s simply unbelievable.

      Let’s take MS/Ferrari for example. I would agree both drivers MS and RB started off the year driving the same car…that which was built for MS. I’ll leave it at that because that can be the only scenario where SD thinks all things are equal. One driver gets to drive a car built for the other and therefore they are on equal footing.

  10. I commented on this site before Raikkonens comeback that he would indeed be very successful given the format of F1 he came back to with his fluent style and his talent. And so it turned out, he surprized most people but not me.

    He`s probably the most naturally talented driver on the grid and has been so throughout his career. That`s why the comeback was so easy for him, it comes to him naturally whereas others have to work on it. Sure there are other drivers that work harder, are more determined and dedicated than Raikkonen and will therefor win more races and championships during their career. But for pure driving talent I don`t think either Vettel, Alonso or Hamilton is on par with Raikkonen. Remember all the others were nurtured through the ranks whereas Raikkonen arrived in F1 with only 23 races in single seaters to his name and made an instant impact. Then he walked away for 2 years and did the same again.

    What about 2014? I think the new regulations will suit Raikkonen better than any other driver on the grid. A fluent driving style will be very important in the turbo-era as the challenge will be to get the power down, and nobody has a more fluent driving style than Raikkonen. I think a lot of people (including Alonso) will be in for a surprize come 2014.

    I just have to add that Hulkenberg is the driver on the grid with a driving style similar to Raikkonen, with a cool intelligent head on him too. Lotus would be crazy not to take him, by replacing Raikkonen with Hulkenberg I think they would get continuity.

  11. I think this is a fantastic move to end the Era of ferrari hiring a Top number 1 driver, and a slave driver like Barrichelo and massa were that are not as fast… This is a totaly different aproach than working for only one driver…

    And this line up might also have a positive effect in the 2014 car development… With such strong line up, Scuderia’s developing team should be at a massive pressure to finaly deliver a championship winning car…

    Great move by Ferrari in my Opinion

  12. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 12th September 2013, 18:49

    Don’t get me wrong I want to believe Domenicali but no way in hell was this descision backed by the spaniard, he’s going to have to live with it though becaus there is nowhere else (competitive that is) for him to go.

    It has the potential to work very well but for that to happen you need an Alonso that can accept that he is no longer the dominant leader he was.

  13. OmarR-Pepper (@omarr-pepper) said on 12th September 2013, 19:16

    Nice piece of PR from Domenicalli. But, although that could be enough to calm reporters about the “genius-gate”, what happens inside Ferrari doors from now on can be very different from the family photo they want to show us.

  14. “Since the world began, our drivers have always started on equal terms. It’s always been that way and always will.”

    What a load of crap. Was it like that in Germany a few years ago, mister Domenicali? Was it like that when Rubens had to move over in race number 6 of the season?

    Don’t talk like Formula 1 fans are idiots. Ferrari always had a number one and a number two drive. Hiring Kimi will put an end to that, so yes, a couple of things will chance for Alonso. Hiring Kimi means that Ferrari is throwing that all overboard.

    If it will turn out good or bad, we will have to wait and see, but don’t pretend that we are stupid and say that nothing had changed.

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