Alonso will benefit from having Raikkonen as team mate – Montezemolo

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari, Monza, 2013Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo denied Fernando Alonso is unhappy Kimi Raikkonen will join him at the team next year.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport Montezemolo said: “We are not masochistic enough to take on a driver without informing Alonso.”

“Fernando was always in the picture regarding the choice of Raikkonen, taken partly because the alternative, that of employing a youngster, in what will be a complex 2014 season, did not inspire confidence.”

“Today, Raikkonen is one of the best, along with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton,” he added, “and Alonso is the first to be happy that he is coming here.”

Montezemolo likened Raikkonen’s return to Niki Lauda’s F1 comeback with McLaren in the 1980s: “Raikkonen?s situation is identical to the one we had with Lauda. At one point, even Niki had had enough.”

“I spoke about having his twin brother because the guy racing for us was not the one we had employed. The break did him good and he returned in great form, he won and finished a lot of races.

“In a nutshell, I wanted a driver who would not make me regret [Felipe] Massa. What I ask of Raikkonen is wins, a consistent performance level and podiums and Alonso will be the first to benefit. I am pleased he is back with us and the Ferrari staff greeted the news enthusiastically, as they had good memories of him.”

Montezemolo even raised the prospect of Raikkonen having the upper hand over Alonso: “Going back to Lauda, when he returned with a different energy level, he won the title, beating Prost…”

Alonso has expressed dissatisfaction with the team recently, complaining about their pace of development and criticising the team’s tactics during qualifying at Monza.

Montezemolo said he understood Alonso’s frustration: “I am the first to understand his discontent. Let?s say his dissatisfaction is like the anger of a footballer who is called to the bench and tells the manager to get stuffed. But I?d rather deal with someone like that than a wuss.”

He also played down Raikkonen’s reputation for avoiding his media duties: “I hope that his public relations will consist of wins, as well as a contribution to the team and a diligent presence in Maranello. Alonso cannot take all the work on his shoulders alone.”

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28 comments on Alonso will benefit from having Raikkonen as team mate – Montezemolo

  1. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 17th September 2013, 12:10

    “Going back to Lauda, when he returned with a different energy level, he won the title, beating Prost…”

    lol only by half of a point!

  2. Having just seen “Rush”, I can’t help but think that Kimi is more like Hunt (and coincidentally he once took part under that pseudonym). He is a rebel and a party animal, although probably not as sexually active as James was.

    Kimi after 2007 championship was also similar to James Hunt after 1976; he has achieved what has eluded him in 2003 & 2005 and now didn’t have that fire in the belly to go and win another one, the way Vettel is hungry after 3 successive championships. But it seems that Kimi has indeed come back more mature and motivated and his race-craft which was already sublime, has got even better.

    I am so looking forward to see him champion in 2014!

  3. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 17th September 2013, 12:45

    employing a youngster, in what will be a complex 2014 season, did not inspire confidence.

    Red Bull opting to go with DR instead of KR whilst Ferrari do the complete contrast in bringing KR instead of Hulk will be ever more enticing to see having just read that quote.

    • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 17th September 2013, 13:24

      I raised an eyebrow at the whole sentence.

      Fernando was always in the picture regarding the choice of Raikkonen, taken partly because the alternative, that of employing a youngster, in what will be a complex 2014 season, did not inspire confidence

      So, keeping Massa wasn’t considered as an option. Maybe it’s just not a very generous translation.

  4. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 17th September 2013, 12:46

    So, is Alonso happy, or “happy”? :)

    • “I hope that his public relations will consist of wins”. LDM emphasized that Alonso will have PR duties and Kimi will have wins duties.

  5. It will be very interesting to see, for sure. But I think Alonso at this point is a better driver than Raikkonen, and he knows the current team more (Raikkonen will have to re-adjust), so I believe Alonso will be coming ahead more often than not.

  6. @iFelix
    Spot on mate- Prost made one too many comments about his team and found himself on a surprising ‘sabbatical’!! As a Senna fan I REALLY enjoyed that :)

    • :-)
      I hope that he doesn’t get sacked mid-season @garns. I don’t like Alonso (political games, being always close to a dirty game, etc.) and don’t like seeing him win, but he is great driver and races would be more boring without him.
      But he is very smart and I think he has got the message.

  7. rankx (@rankx22) said on 17th September 2013, 15:13

    Reportedly Lauda’s only reason for his comeback was that his airline business needed fresh money. Apart from that, Lauda and Kimi are very different personalities. In my eyes Luca M. is oozing same PR-nonsense.

  8. What I take away from those remarks is that in spite of the praise Alonso gets in the press, Ferrari feel he has not been delivering all that he should, and Kimi is there to prompt him to try harder.

  9. arki19 said on 18th September 2013, 1:40

    It is very hard to see how somebody with Fernando Alonso’s sense of self belief would not interpret the signing of Kimi Raikkonen as a slap in the face. If any driver on the circuit could threaten his number one status, surely Kimi is the guy. (I am surprised there wasn’t some sort if clause in his contract that would allow the signing of such a threat
    actually.)
    I would think he is also annoyed that the team thinks he needs more motivation. It must be galling to have your efforts questioned and I am sure he thinks he’s delivered better results than the car deserves. (I agree by the way.)

    • Albert said on 18th September 2013, 2:37

      I would think he is also annoyed that the team thinks he needs more motivation. It must be galling to have your efforts questioned and I am sure he thinks he’s delivered better results than the car deserves. (I agree by the way.)

      I agree partially. While his driving in races has been mostly excellent, the same can’t be said about qualifying. And that’s a feeling both the team and a lot of the press share (I’m basing this on all the comments about Raikkonen pushing Alonso on Saturdays). Besides, I’m sure the team didn’t take kindly that Alonso, instead of delivering better results in quali, dedicated himself to blame it on the car. Let’s remember, a car more than capable of making extremely good races.

      And, at the end of the day, that has costed him a lot. One could make the argument that better qualifying could have given him the title in 2012. Of course, there were more issues that year, but we shouldn’t completely ignore Alonso’s qualifying pace.

      • Nomore (@nomore) said on 18th September 2013, 9:39

        And that’s a feeling both the team a lot of the press share

        Can you bring a link when someone inside the team has criticized Alonso for that performance ?

        About the press is all relative because the press behave with bias…it’s normal that British and German press don’t like him and Italian and Spanish press like him…the press is a useless information for me.

        About Alonso quali pace don’t worry next year you will see, if Ferrari is back in the 1999-2008 level you will see who will get the poles…

    • (I am surprised there wasn’t some sort if clause in his contract that would allow the signing of such a threat actually.)

      I think Alonso might have such clause. But that clause probably does not cover Kimi. Alonso’s contract was signed in 2008 or 2009. This was the time when Kimi was on the decline and was going to leave F1 too. Alonso probably thought Kimi will never return to the sport, forget Ferrari. I don’t blame him. After Kimi’s exist in 2009, I was shocked when he returned in 2012. And even more shocked that he is returning to Ferrari in 2014.

      • Imho, a World Champion like FA should be able to outperform, or at least believe he can and will, his teammate, no matter the teammates name. So I find it hard to imagine FA feeling like the signing of KR was a slap in the face, unless FA actually feels he needs to have a subservient in order to succeed. In my ideal world of F1, FA should welcome KR as a proven WDC who should be able to help the team, along with FA himself, to advance the car to it being the best such that they both can fight confidently for the WDC and keep their rivals behind them.

        I think it would be a really sad comment about the state of F1 if a proven WDC needs help from a guaranteed non-competing teammate, and I hope and trust that is not the case with FA. I don’t think that LdM is saying FA needs MORE motivation and therefore they have signed KR…I think it is just undeniable that FA will be highly motivated with a WDC beside him. I would like to think FA is motivated to the max either way, and to my thinking and perhaps LdM’s, KR’s signing will guarantee maximum motivation for both drivers. And I think we the viewing and paying audience deserve nothing less than the best drivers possible on the top teams. I welcome Ferrari’s change from their one-rooster philosophy.

  10. Stephen D said on 12th October 2013, 11:54

    Ferrari have let down Fernando Alonso the whole time he has been with the team. What Alonso has consistently done with a substandard car has been nothing short of amazing.

    I hope Fernando does not lose his focus and cool when Kimi joins Ferrari, in the same way that he did when he was a team mate of Lewis Hamilton at McClaren.

    Ferrari also owe an overriding duty to their fans to provide a car that can compete with Red Bull.

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