'Kimi is not an anti-Alonso choice'

Thursday 12-September-2013 09:32

Fernando Alonso has nothing to fear from Kimi Raikkonen's arrival at Ferrari as the team insists both drivers will have equal status.

On Wednesday, Ferrari confirmed that Raikkonen could return to the team next season replacing Felipe Massa as Alonso's new team-mate.

And while there's no arguing the strength of the partnership, there are some concerns about how Ferrari will handle have "two roosters in the same hen house" for the first time since 1953.

Stefano Domenicali, though, is confident the two drivers will work together to push Ferrari forward.

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

"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."

The team boss also insisted that both drivers would have number one status, however should the time come that one outstrips the other in the Championship fight, then the one running second will play a support role in the title chase no matter who it is.

"Nothing will change in the way the team is run. 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 Fangio and Collins and more recently with Salo and 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, before repaying the compliment and again with Felipe and Fernando.

"As for the Dream Team, I'm not in the habit of dreaming with my eyes open, as it's not in my nature to do so. I would only say that the combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in Formula 1, in terms of talent, experience, competitive spirit and the ability to move car development forward."

He added: "As for the "poultry" question, 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..."

Domenicali also refuted any suggestions that Raikkonen was not up to scratch when it comes to helping with the car's development, revealing that new technical director James Allison, who was signed from Lotus, has been singing Raikkonen's praises.

"Some cliches refuse to die! We worked with Kimi for three years from 2007 to 2009 and we never had a problem. Sure, everyone has their own ways and you can't expect a Finn to start telling jokes in Italian or playing the clown!

"Honestly, I think the combination of Fernando's expressive and passionate latin character and the cool style, to call it that, of someone like Kimi, seems to appeal to many, including the youngsters and our partners are also in agreement with this.

"As for the technical side of things, not only do we know full well how much Kimi can contribute at an important time like this, when the technical framework is changing so significantly, 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."

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