DC: Alonso was looking around

Monday 23-December-2013 09:41

BBC F1 commentator David Coulthard feels Fernando Alonso's management company's decision to shop around earlier this year showed that his Ferrari "marriage" is not a "happy" one.

Double World Champion Alonso was initially mentioned as a possible replacement for Mark Webber at Red Bull, but nothing came of it with Sebastian Vettel admitting that he would prefer to have Kimi Raikkonen as a team-mate instead of Alonso.

Red Bull opted to sign Daniel Ricciardo while Ferrari confirmed a few months later that Felipe Massa would move on and then re-signed Raikkonen.

That led to speculation that Alonso wasn't happy with the decision and he was then linked with a move back to McLaren with the Woking squad's team principal Martin Whitmarsh admitting he would love to re-sign the Spaniard, if not for 2014 then maybe for the 2015 campaign.

Although Alonso denied the reports that he was looking to leave Ferrari, former Red Bull driver Coulthard feels there is no smoke without a fire.

"Red Bull's success destabilised Ferrari and led to a sticky period in relations between the team and Fernando Alonso," he wrote in his year-end review for the BBC.

"I can't know for sure but I do believe there is substance to the reports that his management were looking around other teams in the summer. Whether that's because it's the right thing to do or out of a genuine desire to move, it doesn't show a happy marriage."

Despite suggestions that Ferrari could have problems by pairing Alonso and Raikkonen in 2014, Coulthard feels both parties will benefit.

"Some people have suggested that signing Kimi Raikkonen alongside Alonso simply adds pressure to an already potentially volatile situation, but I see it differently," he continued.

"Raikkonen has been at Ferrari before so there is no new-boy-at school uncertainty and he is also pretty comfortable in his own skin. Ferrari know what to expect from him, which is that he will take the most out of any situation.

"Does he have time on his side and all the youthful energy that he might have had first time around? It remains to be seen.

"But the key point is Raikkonen is non-political. He won't try to be anything other than himself with Alonso. He won't be outwardly annoyed if he is slower; he won't be high-fiving his mechanics in the back of the garage and trying to rub it in if he is quicker."

"I believe that, over a season, Alonso will have too much for Raikkonen.

"As for how Alonso will respond on the occasions Raikkonen is quicker, well, there were times when he was out-qualified by Massa and he was fine with it.

"It might be that he had the comfort zone of knowing he was a better racer, but there were some races in which the team could have moved Massa out of the way sooner, but didn't. And there were races when they didn't move him out of the way at all."

© 2014 - 365 Media Group

Any reproduction, publication or redistribution of this material without the written agreement of 365 Media Group is strictly forbidden.