Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari, 2013

Raikkonen ‘not anti-Alonso choice’ – Domenicali

2014 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

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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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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 ?

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. “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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