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Reaction to Raikkonen’s Ferrari return
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Posted By: James Allen  |  12 Sep 2013   |  11:36 am GMT  |  438 comments

The reaction to Kimi Raikkonen’s move back to Ferrari has been interesting. Fans have mixed views with many delighted to see the Finn back in red, while others think that the combination of Fire and Ice will not work.


As for the media, Italy’s leading sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport describes it as a “brave but dangerous choice”.

“It’s stimulating but also insidious. Above all though it was an inevitable choice. Felipe Massa had reached the end of a glorious career in red, an excellent second driver, better than Irvine or Barrichello. But his performances now are more about lows than highs.


“Two roosters in a hen house, as they say, even if Kimi isn’t a rooster on the same level as Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton.

“Kimi will have a role to push Alonso, but also will serve to limit him. We won’t have a team at the feet of one driver, but two drivers in the service of a team.”

The main story has a headline “A Ferrari to amaze” and notes that Raikkonen was informed on Monday afternoon of the decision and that he will be paid €11 million per season. For Gazzetta the input of new technical director James Allison was key to Ferrari having the confidence to re-hire Raikkonen. When the news was announced Ferrari’s website had 200,000 hits in three hours.

Finland’s Turun Sanomat is naturally delighted with the news. F1 correspondent Heikki Kulta noted that “Raikkonen’s two-year contract was finalized by mananager Steve Robertson only this week, although the talks have been going on for a long time.”

According to Auto Motor und Sport in Germany, Nico Hulkenberg’s manager Werner Heinz expressed disappointment that after weeks of contract to and fro, Ferrari’s team boss Stefano Domenicali informed him on Tuesday night by SMS that they would not be hiring the German driver. Hulkenberg is now on Lotus’ shortlist along with Felipe Massa.


For the Daily Mail in England, Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari is a “shot in the arm for the sport” while opining that Alonso is likely to get the upper hand more often than not,

For writer Jonathan McEvoy, “The return of 33-year-old Raikkonen is partly a result of Ferrari favouring an experienced driver to help them adapt to rule changes going into next season. That ruled out Nico Hulkenburg of Sauber, the other leading contender for the seat that will be vacated by Brazilian Felipe Massa in November.

“Another advantage with Raikkonen is that, despite being wilfully monosyllabic, he has a cult following and possesses the better marketing appeal.

“Raikkonen’s move is a shot in the arm for the sport, pitching two star drivers against each other in intra-team rivalry. Most observers would expect Alonso to prevail over the course of a season, but wait for the fireworks if Raikkonen betters him more than once in a while.”


The Mail also draws attention to the humourous reaction of Lotus F1 Team to Raikkonen’s departure on its Twitter account. With an image of two rabbits mating it implies either that Raikkonen has treated them roughly (although team boss Erid Boullier says there are no hard feelings) or that Raikkonen is in for a tough time at Ferrari with Alonso…

The Telegraph writer Tom Cary also predicts trouble. He says, “2014 at the Scuderia could resemble a season of Game of Thrones; a bloody battle for supremacy between a hot-headed Spaniard and a cold-blooded Finn, a song of fire and ice cream.

“Raikkonen is very much his own man; unpredictable, and at times uncontrollable, albeit he is less wild than he was in his younger years.”

The Spanish media greets the news with caution ,as might be expected, for Oriol Puigdemont in El Pais, “This outcome was unthinkable until recently, mainly by the role of the Spaniard as a spearhead to the team. However, the rope that bound both sides has been stretched lately, and the proof is the public ‘tweak of the ear’ from Luca Cordero Montezemolo, President, before the summer. The boss reminded him that when you race for Ferrari the common good always prevails over individuals, and that occasionally he had not liked Alonso’s attitude.

“With the addition of (Raikkonen), one of the stars of the F1 event, Montezemolo has three objectives: to make clear who’s in charge, increase the count of points in the constructors’ championship and, in turn, put the screws to the Spaniard, who will be next to someone able to shoot as fast as he or even more.”


Listen to the latest JA on F1 Podcast, out now, with a fascinating interview with Claire Williams, deputy team principal of Williams F1 team and Giedo van der Garde explains why he’s raised his game since the new Pirelli tyres came into F1

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438 Comments
  1. vuelvekowalsky says:

    massa better than irvine or barrichello. I agree but before the accident. After the accident he shouldn’t have been a ferrari driver for long. Alonso was his lifesaver.

    1. madmax says:

      Agree, the fire in his eyes just wasn’t there after the accident. Whether it was a confidence thing of not being able to establish himself in the team alongside Alonso don’t know.

      Think if he got the chance at Lotus he could build his confidence up and really deliver again. Hopefully alongside Hulkenberg.

      Irvine, I always though was underrated.

      1. aveli says:

        irvine failed to score a single pole position after driving the fast ferrari for 4 years while watching schumacher set records in the same car.

      2. madmax says:

        Irvine was alongside Schmacher 96-99 and none of those years was the Ferrari regarded by virtually anyone as the fastest.

      3. Bo Amato says:

        Irvine never had the same car as Schumacher!

      4. paulorolo says:

        Just like Webber at RBR … and likely for the same reasons.

      5. Jimbob says:

        Yeah, I saw a documentary about Irvine and he admitted he couldn’t get near Schumacher.

      6. Tealeaf says:

        The fast Ferrari between 1996 and 1999? If it wasn’t for Schumacher Ferrari would have been nowhere during those period, if Mclaren and Williams didn’t keep shooting themselves in the foot like they usually do Ferrari wouldn’t have had a chance at the titles during those years, Irvine was a good driver so was Rubens, remember Barrichello did better against Schumacher than Massa did.

      7. F1 Badger says:

        I think massa has brain damage from the fractured skull and this has slowed him. Martin Brundke stated that happened to him. I applaud Ferrari’s loyalty to him.

      8. Sam says:

        Irvine wasn’t really there during the Record-Setting years. He was with Michael during the ‘rebuild’.

      9. Doobs says:

        He was so nearly WC in 1999(?)

      10. aveli says:

        some of the above comments are so funny. how did he nearly win the championship in a slow car?
        or how did mika salo do as irvine’s teammate?

    2. Sebee says:

      Come on vuelve, did you forget what happend end of 2012 season when Massa was finally given equal hardware to Alonso? Let’s not have short memories.

      1. Andrew Carter says:

        Finally given equal hardware? I smell a tin hat conspiracy.

      2. Yago says:

        Funny coment, because it actually is the oposite. The period of time during which Alonso’s and Massa’s cars have had more differences regarding to aerodinamic components whas precisely the last couple of races of 2012.

      3. crespo says:

        Actually Sebee, Alonso had newer hardware that wasn’t working as well as Massa’s. Short *selective* memories…

        “Finally given equal hardware”? You seem to imply that they haven’t had the same car since 2010. What are you on about?

      4. Sugar Water says:

        @crespo
        He is all about RBR (red bull religion) :))

      5. rafa says:

        massa has always had the same hardware as alonso. i take it you are a vet fan. why do you undermine his performances by underrating his main rival?

      6. Mingojo says:

        Please, are you trying to wind up people here? Felipe hasn’t been at the same level than Fernando for four years. At the end of last season he had a few good races, but saying that it was after Ferrari gave him ‘equal hardware’ than Alonso is misleading.

      7. Sebee says:

        Gentlemen,

        Non of us have factual information about what, if anything happens at Ferrari. For that reason on track performance speaks volumes. When it started to look as if Ferrari would go championship less for a 3rd year, they decided to pull out all the stop and based on Massa’s performances provided him with the tools needed to succeed and really contribute to the Ferrari points count. If they truly wanted Massa to be successful, Ferrari would supply him such tools regularly.

      8. Krischar says:

        @ SEBEE

        what happened during MULTI 21 ?

        Webber have never been given the equal machinery (HARDWARE in your terms) or moral support by RBR ever since the so called triple world champion joined the team in 2009

        Webber was far better driver than massa (+1000 times better than massa). There are plenty of examples available. Webber was more than a match for vettel. yet MARKO and Horner always sabotaged webber. Where were you then ?

        Fact is webber performed a lot better in relation to vettel than what massa has achieved at Ferrari. Now do not come up with excuses like Ferrari has not allowed massa to race. RBR did damage webber’s race plenty of times notably when webber and vettel were qualified closely. yet webber put in decent performances and helped RBR to win the WCC despite the lap dog role he played for vettel over the past 4 seasons. Massa on other hand always complained and found excuses for his poor performances.

      9. Sebee says:

        You may be right. Maybe Webber isn’t getting equal car. Or maybe car is not suited to Webber.

        I agree that Webber has performed better than Massa. But I strongly believe that Massa is not getting equal hardware, where as I’m more inclined to belive that Webber is.

        Remember, Ferrari get a nice fat bonus for being Ferrari every single year regardless if they win the WCC or not. While I’m not privy to FOM agreements obviously it is safe to assume RBR are not getting that same Ferrari bonus. Which likely makes the WCC a whole lot more important to RBR than to Ferrari finance wise. That monetary motivation is enough for me to believe that odds of Webber getting equal treatment hardware wise are significantly higher than Massa.

        As for Multi21, remember one thing. They raced for it, it was a DRS pass if I remember right, and it was against the team’s or Mark’s will. Massa’s will is irrelevant at Ferrari. They pop his tarnsmission, move him over in a blink for Alonso, and he is forced to yield and has been an absolute team player and clear #2. I’ve said this before – are you going to rip your guts out going for P1 at Ferrari if you know eventually the call is coming through for you to move over? I wonder if you would. I am pretty sure I would spare myself the joy of such a thing, after being in a position to win on the aniversary of a near-death experience the team tells me to move over instead of putting in a call to hold positions? Yeah…no thanks to that again I’m sure Massa thought to himself. Even when taking a spot ahead of Alonso they pop his transmission to move Alonso up. Clearly, there is no end to what Ferrari were willing to do for Alonso via Massa over past 4 years.

        I hope that all ends in 2014 and we see how good Alonso is without Massa propping up his ego so that fans think he’s super-human fast.

    3. Quade says:

      What happened to Massa was certainly confidence hit after confidence hit. He’s not such a bad driver.

      Ferrari’s mistake was in thinking they could apply the Schumi template to Alonso. But Alonso is not a technical genius like Schumi was, rather he is more of a politician. And politics destroys teams.

      Massa has ended up broken, I hope he can recover.

      1. tim says:

        Good point. I’d also add that what made the Ferrari team of that era so dominant (besides Schumacher, of course!) was the ruling trio of Todt, Brawn and Byrne. Byrne is back with the band. The jury is still out on Allison. And poor Domenicali just has his hands full with Alonso, Montezemolo and whoever else at Ferrari who has a ‘plan.’

      2. Basil says:

        Good summary! Let’s see how he will react to RAI, I smell political games from ALO.

      3. Doobs says:

        Massa only goes well if the car is to his liking. Alonso is fast in whatever he’s given. Ferrari hasn’t given FM the car but his performances have not been anywhere like FA’s and he has looked bad in comparison. Last last year he showed he still has the speed but sadly he’s gone off the boil again.

      4. ShaBooPi says:

        What nonsense. Schumacher a technical genius only when testing was allowed and Ferrari had more resources than anyone else. A small Renault team with Alonso testing caught and beat your supposed mighty Schumacher. I guess you love broad assumptive statements. Open up free testing again and we’d witness Fernando’s ability again. The game has changed and Ferrari are no longer dominant. Schumacher and Alonso were both superior at technical feedback etc so during that period they brought a lot to their teams.

        Schumacher was so ineffective at Mercedes they took Hamilton in his place. If Schumacher was such a technical genius he would have had a bigger effect because technical ability isn’t speed. Do you actually believe some of the things you say?

      5. James Allen says:

        I think it’s more that Schu was 43 years old…

      6. dren says:

        Look where Mercedes is now. You have to credit Schumacher with some of that.

      7. krischar says:

        Perfect SHAbooPI

        Very true

        Schumacher has done nothing when he was at Mercedes and was well beaten by rosberg

        Back in his prime days, they had unlimited testing, huge resources, Tailormade Bridgestone tyres and clear political influence with FIA

        Now the game has changed ever since 2009. Alonso has done a tremendous job with Ferrari over the last 4 seasons. Alonso made the impossible task look easy. HOORAY Fernando. you are always the best no matter who ever wins WDC

        Age has nothing to do with schumacher performance at Mercedes.

      8. Nick_F1 says:

        From your point of view who has contributed to the car of 2013 year the most of all – MS or Rosberg?

        Next question what do you say when Rosberg now says that his voice become stronger in the team after MS retired ? Do you understand his message ?

      9. Quade says:

        ShaBooPi
        I have never been a Schumacher fan, not even remotely (I even supported Alonso against him), so your comments make absolutely no sense.
        There are some of you who are so blinded by partisan leanings that the truth about other drivers seems like a scary walk down Halloween lane.

        One thing any unbiased F1 fan would admit that in his younger days, Schumi’s technical clarity was a World apart from the field. In qualifying he had an uncanny ability to add a little wing here or alter the ballast there to gain huge swathes of time – something no other driver could do. Indeed, these things are usually what engineers would suggest, but here was a driver who not only could, but excelled at it.

        Without doubt, Schumacher had by far the highest technical IQ of any F1 driver, both those before and after him. Give credit where it is due.

      10. ShaBooPi says:

        Quade I said in my post that both Alonso and Schumacher were superior in technical feedback. I didn’t say Schumacher was average at all. I don’t agree that he was the best ever over past and present, that is hilarious.

        James no doubt Schumacher was older, I was just referencing his technical prowess, which if anything should improve through the years. His speed and physical ability would probably of course be less than in his prime.

      11. Lohani says:

        Name those who were better than Schumi in the technical department before and after. I’m a huge Schumi fan, but I won’t claim he was the best ever before and after, because I can’t make blind claims.

        One this is sure. When it came to pushing the envelope (on all fronts) with unflinching determination (without any public self-loathing, or publicly taunting his teams) there are very few who matched him. He made it a habit of learning everything there was to learn to be on top of his game, which includes developing interpersonal skills within Ferrari. Ignoring his ingenious ability and laying credit for his successes mostly on unlimited testing and budget, Bridgestones and the totally speculative FIA help, just doesn’t help. Maybe, he earned it?

        Schumi helped Merc in the technical department also to the best of his ability. Merc, in just 4 years, has managed 4 wins already, not to mention podium finishes. It’s Mercedes, yes, but it’s still a brand new team. With regards to his performance, he had nothing to prove. Given his portfolio, he could come back, enjoy while he did and left when the fire burned out.

        The only time I saw him really pushing after his comeback with Mercedes was in Canada 2011 during qualifying. He never looked comfortable with the Merc before that. Come 2012, he was getting better, but had huge reliability issues. Getting pole at Monaco at 43 is not a joke. As for his legacy, not bad for a brick layer’s son!

      12. Lohani says:

        Before it’s pointed out, I know that Merc used to be Brawn GP, BAR Honda, Tyrell and if we go way further back, it was probably a nuts and bolts on a wheel in a horse carriage. Doesn’t change the fact that the Merc was a brand new team, without the double diffuser.

      13. ShaBooPi says:

        Merc is not a brand new team.. you say fact is they are but the actual fact is they aren’t. By the way Mr Massa made a statement a moment ago saying Fernando is more perfect than Schumacher, fyi. Given he has lost his job and has to further allegiance I think he might know better than most of us.

      14. paul murray says:

        For the rest of this season Massa can say stuff
        your your team orders and cut loose.He also has
        to show he would be good for another team.

      15. Dan says:

        hope he does. i hope he out qualifies alonso again. lol

    4. rey cruz says:

      i think its the other way around

  2. Fireman says:

    “With an image of two rabbits mating it implies either that Raikkonen has treated them roughly (although team boss Erid Boullier says there are no hard feelings) or that Raikkonen is in for a tough time at Ferrari with Alonso…”

    No, the image is in contrast to “it hurts a little bit”. Thus, the tweet means that Kimi’s departure hurts Lotus a lot.

    I’m surprised you didn’t pick that up.

    1. All revved-up says:

      Why is “mating” rough?

      Is everyone else into S&M?

      I only experience sweet pleasure – am I deprived?

      1. alexdhq says:

        You don’t get the full picture. Those two rabbits are males. Still feeling deprived?

      2. Grabyrdy says:

        Are they ? How can you tell ?

      3. All revved-up says:

        LOL!

      4. Mike84 says:

        pardon me but how would you know that?

      5. kfzmeister says:

        Buahahahahaha………(Best post!)

      6. Fireman says:

        It’s not, but humans interpret the other rabbits facial expression as being in pain.

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      There’s more to it than that.

      I think they see the Lotus team as the left rabbit and Kimi as the right rabbit.

      There is another photoshop job floating around with Alonso’s head screaming on the left rabbit and Kimi’s head smiling on the right.

      Not very pretty though the reality may be that this time next year Alonso will be the rabbit on the right and Kimi on the left. Will Kimi care though, he’s left the rabbit hutch that didn’t seem too good at giving him food or water. ;)

      1. Glen says:

        I think Alonso is the rabbit on top, dominating Kimi, and Lotus are saying Kimi will be in for a rough time, and taken advantage of.

      2. Fireman says:

        No, it’s a simple joke :D

      3. Doobs says:

        RB will be the rabbit underneath.

    3. MISTER says:

      I’m surprised you think it’s so straight forward!

      I agree with James that Lotus F1 twiter team chose that picture in order to create the double meaning (and leave room for interpretation) and be cheeky with Kimi in the same time.

      1. Fireman says:

        It’s more probable that journos make bogus interpretations and creep their bias into articles.

        Harsh to point out, yes, but true.

      2. VSI says:

        @Mister – “Lotus F1 twiter team chose that picture in order to create the double meaning (and leave room for interpretation)”.

        You mean ala Dan Brown and Da “Bunny” Code?

    4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Perhaps they see the left bunny as Lotus and bunny on the right as Bernie, or a weird cross breed between Bernie and Eddie Jordan…

      1. Tim says:

        Eddie’s toupee looks, suspiciously, like it might have once belonged to one of those rabbits ;-)

      2. dren says:

        I thought it was showing what Grossjean used to do to other cars at the start of races?

    5. Joe B says:

      I thought it was the smaller Lotus team getting screwed by the big guns (and bank accounts) of Ferrari. Despite the ambiguity, it’s still a funny tweet!

    6. jmv says:

      is the lower positioned rabbit Eric Boullier?
      Pretty gutsy PR office at Enstone.

      1. Mike84 says:

        It’s scandalous, is there a minimum age enforced for reading Twitter or JAF1 that animal pornography can be posted where kids are reading?

    7. Hugy says:

      I think its pretty straightforward: Lotus is butthurt because with the Kimi deal, Ferrari ****** them!

      The PR guys is really funny, though.

    8. Sri says:

      when it says “it hurts a bit” – you are not sure if it is the right one that is getting hurt or the left one or BOTH. People usually interpret the left as the one that says “it hurts”. I think it is a bit sexist to see it that way. Anyway, too much analysis on an image that actually had to be censored in public domains.

    9. A.Green says:

      No it means Lotus got @$%^& by Kimi.

      They gave him a second chance, everything he wanted, treated him like a king. And off he goes to make money, because that is what motivates the ice man. Why else would he go back to the team that kicked him out before..

      1. C Lin says:

        Yes Lotus gave Kimi a second chance but he scored plenty of Constructor’s points, money for the team last year.

        This year he is still earning a lot of Constructor’s points, money for team despite his salary still not being paid this year.
        Even Boullier said they are not bitter & no reason to.

        Ideally, they should continue together but circumstances not making it hard.

      2. C Lin says:

        sorry typo, I mean –
        “circumstances making it hard”.

    10. NJ says:

      How about…

      “Alonso is the left rabbit, Ferrari is the right rabbit”?

      Works too, right? :P

  3. David says:

    I admire both these drivers enormously, but I just don’t see this working. A constructors championship seems likely, but the cost will be high. Neither driver will be satisfied with 2nd place and the point splitting will result in a non-Ferrari driver champion, and two unhappy drivers.

    1. Wayne says:

      I think Ferrari have made the right choice if for no other reason than they had to try something different. There was no point in continuing as they had for the last few years, it simply was not working in terms of what the partnership and team ethos delivered on track. They may be right or wrong but at least they are trying something new.

      1. Sebee says:

        Funny Wayne. Over the past few months, I have come to accept that #1/#2 approach as I know you like is not bad. And you’ve come to accept that fair treatment and two #1s is also OK.

        As we’ve said, neither is right nor wrong. There is a right time and right place for each. Ideally, it’s refreshing to see a rotation of #1/#2 or two #1s. But it should not be done for sake of rotation, and applied at correct timing. In this case, after four years of #1/#2 at Ferrari, they really have nothing to lose going with two #1s.

      2. Wayne says:

        I still think the best way to win a WDC is to have a clear number 1 and that fans have no right to complain when teams implement it. Let’s face it, the WDC is the only thing that people outside of the team care about, fans are not really interested in the WCC.

        However, as we agree, there is also nothing wrong with a team trying a different approach.

      3. Sebee says:

        I think one other factor should play a role in deciding which approach works best. Car.

        If a team has the car to dominate, then they should probably assign a #1. However, it’s not simple. How do you know you have the best car? You have to go into race one to find out. And so the statement by Ferrari that on first race both drivers are equal is true. But after early races, you need to evaluate things.

        If you don’t have the fastest car, then the fair treatment policy is better. I still believe that Massa could have done better with better suited tools/support for example. Ferrari have not had the fastest car, and thus #1 has not worked. But even that thinking is not correct as 2010 and 2012 clearly proves. They were not fastest, but thanks to #1/#2 policy were in contention till the very end.

        Gray area – that’s where F1 exists and it does one heck of a job being there. Nothing is black and white in F1, as much as we try to make it black and white. We have to accept, it is all grayish. :-)

      4. Stefanos says:

        Absolutely right. They had to try something different. And with a lot of imminent rule changes and some catching up to do, perhaps two experienced drivers are better than one. Get the fastest car first and worry about everything else afterwards.

      5. Rishi says:

        Indeed – the old Albert Einstein principle: “Insanity: doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.” I also think they did need to make a change and, even as someone who likes Felipe, had to concede his time had come. Kimi will offer a different dynamic with there being two number ones now and is not a bad choice but at the same time I would like to have seen Nico Hulkenberg get the drive, if only to illustrate that the top drives are not a closed shop for promising drivers in the smaller teams if they work hard and get results.

    2. Timmay says:

      How many drivers titles have they won using the old model in the last 4 years? Zero

    3. shortsighted says:

      I think the 2014 Ferrari pairing is quite different from McLaren because Alonso will not be racing against a rookie team mate Hamilton who proved to be faster and was making him look second rate. Being beaten by an experienced F1 champion like Kimi occasionally can never be as bad as beaten consistently by a rookie Hamilton. Hope there will be less fireworks and more genuine competitive racing all around.

    4. Benalf says:

      Why bother about why both drivers will be unhappy. The reason is clear, Ferrari won’t be able to develop a competitive car and both stallions will have plenty of time to whine and eat ice cream. Why people keep saying it’s not gonna work. Kimi is the type of racer whoe doesn’t care about anything but race fast. Alonso will certainly complain about the car not being fast, or likely, reliable enough. No car, no worries, Kimi will earn 11 million Euros per year that added to what Alonso earns will put Ferrari a extra-galactic level….for nothing!

    5. Per says:

      …why point splitting? I think it is great to have Alonso as a second driver. :-)

    6. Mark says:

      Bit like Hamilton and Alonso. Both finished second in the points behind Kimi in 2007. If McLaren had favoured one or the other, one would have been WCC that year.

  4. Maybet says:

    “Two roosters in a hen house, as they say, even if Kimi isn’t a rooster on the same level as Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton.”

    tired of people underrating Kimi.

    I hope kimi is hungry enough as Alonso is a tough opponent.

    He needs to communicate with his garage crews more to let them know what he needs. Not leaving them cold like last time.

    1. All revved-up says:

      Next year the whole world can see who is the stronger cockerel. No need for innuendos.

    2. Sanky says:

      yeah exactly…i dnt know why people consider Kimi to be below Alonso, Hamilton nd vettel…probably he doesnt do the shit talk off track of who is better nd all ….for me he is definitely one of the top drivers nd I have always believed him to be better than Alonso..who i feel could also hav made a successful career in Marketing :P

      1. Stefanos says:

        Almost certainly true on pure speed. But Kimi tends to give up when he’s not doing well, whereas Alonso will fight for the last point.

      2. Andy says:

        Did you watch Monaco 2013 or the last race? Kimi didn’t say “I give up!” On the radio, did he?

    3. Wilma the Great says:

      The statement is not underrating him. It merely states that Kimi is not as egocentric as the other ones and probably less sensitive to other roosters. That’s why I expect him to do better than Alonso who needs the no. 1 status to excel.

      1. Antti says:

        That’s how I interpreted the statement as well: Kimi is not a rooster in the sense that he needs to control everything in his house and doesn’t feel that he needs to assert his authority in the team. He’s there to drive and that’s all, other members of the team have their duties and he expects them to fulfil those duties without him having to motivate or encourage them.

      2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        Spot on, and that’s why I have more respect for Kimi than any of the current champions.

      3. dren says:

        That’s one reason why Kimi has the fan base that he does, and one of the reasons why I cheer for him. I am not a Ferrari fan at all but I’ll have to cheer Kimi on next season.

    4. JB says:

      Totally agree. I rate Kimi as the same level this year as Vettel.
      Followed closely behind with Hamilton then finally Alonso.
      i feel Alonso is onky given 80% this year compared to 110% of last year

      Where as Kimi has been 110% since his return

    5. Paige says:

      I doubt James Allison thinks that Kimi isn’t on the same level as Alonso, Lewis, or Vettel.

      1. dimitris says:

        Allison thinks very highly of Kimi, just remember his appraisal of Kimi’s performance after the Australian GP, of losing traction only twice during the whole race at mind-blowing pace.

        Mmost people think of Kimi’s return to Ferrari from the team’s or Alonso’s perspective. How about Kimi’s? Why did he really go back? Money? Certainly not. I have a notion he planned the whole thing. He came back as a much better driver, a complete racer, with unsurpassed racecraft. He wants to take his ‘revenge’ against the team that threw him out by winning, since he could not do it with another team, a couple of championships for them. Show them how wrong they were. So, those who think that Kimi will give up, or he will be there to make Alonso better, think twice. On the contrry, Alonso will make Kimi even better. He will be a formidable force next year, and he might even do simulator work.

  5. if the ’14 cars are in anyway relative in ‘inter team’performance rating as in ’13 then i see the possibility of the ferrari team losing sight of the goal as the two drivers fight their own battle for supremacy.

    this would be good news for the other top teams. yes, raikonnen is good, he is fast and he is a ‘pusher’ but i doubt whether he can max fernando out in the short to middle term. an interesting spectacle awaits us in ’14.

    1. Tony says:

      Does anybody else think that this decision might be at partly influenced by Ferrari’s expectation that their 2014 car will be 2nd or 3rd fastest …. at least at first.

      Word in the paddock (according to media reports) is that the Ferrari powerplant might be slightly inferior to Merc and Renault.

      If that’s the case then they might be focusing on constructors over drivers where a) they need two drivers who can score good points and b) if ALO blows up without a credible title challenge they need to have a replacement to hand

      1. Olli K says:

        Ferrari has always been focusing on WCC, no matter what. That’s their main issue, even if we have seen so many WDC:s. Ferrari is numero uno, drivers perhaps then. That was something Alonso did forget, and now situation is this.

      2. Doobs says:

        “Word in the paddock (according to media reports) is “…. stopped reading right there. Ferrari know how to build engines.

      3. mario says:

        who’s to say that ferrari aren’t just talking down their engines?

        you gotta to love the speculation before a new season. it’ll all be laid out clearly for us in australia next year

    2. Quade says:

      I believe they are simply cutting Alonso down to size because they might have cashflow restrictions to an outright sacking.

      I fully expect Alonso to take a sabbatical in 2014. He has lost the team leadership position in a very glaring way. My bets for Ferrari 2014 are Kimi + Hulk, or Kimi + Jenson.

  6. Paul Leeson says:

    Its interesting that you only draw two inferences from the Rabbit tweet James, its not beyoned the realms of possibility that Fernando might end up chewing grass.

    Warren outcome that would be. :)

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m sure it would breed many theories..

      1. Sanky says:

        @james – lol , witty reply :P)

      2. Doug says:

        …and big eared boys!! :-D

      3. Neil says:

        Kimi at Lotus, hare today gone tomorrow!

    2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Lettuce think, it’ll be hare-raising, but paws for a sec, Kimi’ll need to stop rabbiting on the radio, grab his chance by the ears as he’s living on burrowed time.

      (sorry, i’ll get mi coat)

      1. Random 79 says:

        Lol

        I’d love to know how long you spent perfecting that – nice :)

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        A couple of mins, cheated using google rabbit puns…15 years ago it’d take a couple of hours and I’d have been chuffed with it…

      3. Nige says:

        There will be a whisker between them but I think Alonso will have a spring in his step by the end.

      4. Random 79 says:

        @Clarks4WheelDrift

        +1 for ingenious cheating, but looks like you missed a couple ;)

    3. MISTER says:

      I disagree. Lotus F1 are obviously not happy with Kimi leaving, therefore most likely they would not “praise” or put him on top with that picture, over Alonso.

      Let’s not forget Alonso was voted the best driver on the grid twice in the last 3 years, if I’m not wrong, by the media and all team principals.

  7. Richard says:

    Lotus gone mad with their rabbit tweet, what.

    1. Matthew Cheshire says:

      No. It’s pretty clever. Look at the hysteria that kimi’s move has created. It’s all negative for Lotus. With one tweet and an (almost) amusing photo, they have said their piece and sidestepped the media storm.

      It appeals to the fans and comes across as a genuine response, more so than a three page media release would ever do.

      Lotus have made it clear they were desperate for Kimi to stay. There is no up side to be spun. This is exposing their weaknesses – funding, and now drivers all on the back of Allison departing. They are hurting.

    2. Doobs says:

      Where’s Lewis when you need him..?

  8. Dai Dactic says:

    Never mind ‘clash-of-the-personalities’ . . .

    If Ferrari’s new engine/energy package isn’t up to scratch they’ll both be relegated to the mid-field.

    1. Paul Watson says:

      Interesting to wonder if Raikkonen talked to Ferrari about their power train for ’14, as he must have some insight into Renaults offering.

      James, any ideas or rumours yet as to who is looking good engine wise next year? Impossible to predict i imagine until January testing.

      1. James Allen says:

        Engineer jungle drums say Merc has the best engine with Renault very efficient and Ferrari chasing it a bit

        We won’t know until January tests to be honest

      2. Anne says:

        Is it confirmed that the tests will begin in January? Where? I mean in order to get warm temperatures they need to go far away from Europe

      3. Witan says:

        Power is always very important but even more so will be reliability and durability.

        No good having great power output for two laps and bust.

        With the integration of the KERS as it is currently called, the regulations for the 2014 engine are a minefield of unknowns.

        I think we shall not know who has the best package until the second or third GP.

      4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        It may not just be greatest engine power that is the deciding factor with the new units.

        Reliability could be the biggie with the return of more retirements. 5 new spec engines for 20+ races averages 4+ races per engine. Integrated KERS failure may mean retirement due to power loss. Hope it doesn’t become a title deciding factor due to big point losses or worse due to late grid penalties exceeding the quantity limits.

      5. Bart says:

        Domenicali says fuel efficiency is going to be very important. Makes me think they are concentrating on that. But then Ferrari have always been keen to produce powerful engines. We’ll wait and see
        Cheers,
        Bart

  9. Monktonnik says:

    For me this is the right decision.

    Retaining Massa for 2010 and getting rid of Raikkonen at huge cost was complete lunacy, unless it was a prerequisite of FA joining. Massa had the better of Kimi before Hungary 2009 but no one knew how his speed would be affected. History has shown that, either way, this decision was flawed.

    If FA had that much sway in deciding on his team mate then it is clear that his currency has been devalued thus season. A shame considering the amazing season he had last year.

    I look forward to seeing either fireworks or harmony at Ferrari next year.

    1. Lee says:

      Keeping Massa after 2009 was completely understandable. Not only had he had the better of Raikkonen for previous season and a half, Massa was also a long time member of the Ferrari family at that point, so its very understandable that they took the sentimental approach in not dumping him at his lowest point. If Massa had kept up his late 2012, early 2013 form, he would still be in the red overalls…its the continued slumps that did him in

      1. Cuba says:

        In 2009 they were both mid table until Massa’s injury. Remember the 2009 Ferrari was a bit of a dog.
        Badoer and the very experienced Fisi could barely get it out of Q3. Meanwhile Kimi gets five podiums, including a win at Spa.
        And they blamed Kimi for being unmotivated.

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        Badoer could only finish last in Quali.

      3. Monktonnik says:

        I see your point.

        But taking the sentimentality out of the equation Ferrari took a huge risk that Massa wouldn’t be affected by the accident. They had a very capable (although, I agree, not that motivated at that moment) driver in the team who was still under contract.

        Paying off Kimi when they could have given Felipe a year to recover at be test/reserve driver would have cost the same (if not less) and possibly have yielded better results.

        As a business and sorting decision I thought at the time that it was fundamentally flawed.

      4. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        Agree, Massa took 6 wins in 08, more even than Lewis, think Kimi had 2. Massa outqualified Kimi from 07-09.

        The decision at the time was not flawed it was common sense.

        What we are about to find out next year is just how much of Massa’s recent dip has been down to his accident, or is it also simply down to Alonso’s speed, lets see if Alonso goes on to consistently beat Kimi as he did Massa.

        So why was Kimi form so poor in 08 and 09…he’d completed his championship goal? He couldn’t adapt to the cars? Too many ice-creams? Anyone got the answer?

      5. rey cruz says:

        fM has the better of KR because MS tweaked the car in favor of FM

    2. Yago says:

      “If FA had that much sway in deciding on his team mate then it is clear that his currency has been devalued thus season”.

      No that’s not the case. His currency is exactly the same. Normally the truth is found following the simplest path. In other words, first Alonso has always had a say on his teammate, but it is the team who decides; second and most important, for Alonso is OK to have Kimi in the other car.

    3. Joel says:

      I see this as a right decision for Ferrari for a different reason – it will prevent the hot headed, unpredictable spaniard from threatening/or leaving Ferrari for another team. In such a case, Ferrari will have a real no 1 driver with Kimi.
      Nothing more, nothing less.

      1. Timmay says:

        Wrong – Alonso has nowhere competitive to go to, even if he desperately wanted to.

      2. Tyemz says:

        Can’t see how having another driver in the other car will prevent a driver from leaving if he wants to or do you have “the hot-headed unpredictable Spaniard’s” contract in front of you suggesting he can’t leave Ferrari as long as Kimi is in the other car? If on the other hand, you are suggesting that Fernando can’t threaten to leave because he wouldn’t be missed while Kimi’s in the other car, then what stops the “hot headed unpredictable Spaniard” from first of all proving that he would be missed (by beating Kimi, which he is capable of), then leaving with Santander’s money to a rival team?

  10. TobyS says:

    A lot has been said recently about Ferrari relationship with Alonso growing tense. Most people at the time wrote about Alonso getting annoyed that he wasn’t winning championships, but I’m guessing Alonso has known that Raikkonen was joining for a long time (or at least that he was favourite to join). I doubt he is petty enough to think this is bad, but surely it just adds to the little niggles that he is experiencing at the moment. It adds some extra uncertainty to a new season full of change.

    1. Only an observation, but with all of the conjecture about who is doing what to whoever, could it be that the original Ferrari approach with the Comentadore (sp?) intentionally keeping the drivers off balance remains in effect?

    2. Alternatively, could it be that the metaphor is showing Monty on top and the bottom represents one of the other teams, the sport, a driver or ??? Ain’t this just all kinds of fun?

    3. paul murray says:

      Next year drivers have equal status, 1 setback
      for Alonso.A very good move by Ferrari two top
      drivers pushing to get the most points to see
      who helps the other.Also both have equal chance
      as cars are completely changed.

  11. assad khan says:

    Even Ferrari a team with great influence in F1 knows that to be in number 3/4 in the constructors tally year on year is taking its toll financially.

    This is a good move, I feel for Massa- but business is business…. Massa I hope gets a good drive and some confidence boost.

  12. Sebee says:

    OMG poll is back! All it took was a few bunnies to dusy off the widget. Thank you bunnies.

    Is this the first poll ever to be 100% for one choice? Come on…lets not let a party pooper into this poll party.

    1. Sebee says:

      OK, too late. LOTUS team has participated in the poll.

      1. Sylvester says:

        Maranello staff memners have been asked to vote without fail.. so we will get back to 99.99%

    2. Grabyrdy says:

      I voted no. I think Ferrari should have chosen the Hulk. Not to keep Alonso or anyone else happy, but just because he’s younger, hungrier, and very very fast, with an awful lot to prove.

      Not saying I won’t enjoy Kimi and Fernando going head-to head, of course.

      1. Sebee says:

        Don’t worry, in 2 years Nico will still be only 28. By then Ferrari will be done with their equal driver treatment period and he can come in and be a fantastic #2 to Vettel. :-)

  13. Chromatic says:

    All the same pundits that opine here expected Kimi to fail when he joined Lotus. Now they expect Alonso to have the upper hand next year.
    Kimi does his talking on the track. So far he has proved all the pundits wrong.
    Quote: “I don’t care what people write about me. I’m not Michael Schumacher”.

    Let’s see how he does in the lion’s den.

    1. Ding wamage says:

      I think Kimi will thrive in the position of the underdog (I realise this is an exaggeration). The pressure is on Alonso now.

    2. krischar says:

      you missed a point here

      Michael is the greatest driver in the history F1 (At least stats wise), kimi is now where near him when it comes legacy or speed so the quote does not make any sense

      1. Sebastian says:

        Not entirely true. Without massive reliability issues he would have beaten Schumacher once to the wdc. So the speed was there.

    3. Chromatic says:

      This is what you might call desperate.

      Andrew Benson has found someone who left Ferrari in 1990 to give an “inside view” of why Kimi is not a good idea!

      See his tweet on twitter page.

      1. Anne says:

        It wasn´t Andrew Benson. It was Autosport Magazine. AB just linked the article in his twitter.

    4. Elie says:

      Exactly Chromatic !- you and 2 other posters understand Kimis quote. 1 doesn’t have a clue.

  14. Anil Parmar says:

    I’m surprised and kind of disappointed so many people are coming out with comments like ‘Kimi won’t be happy being a number 2′ or ‘Alonso will throw the toys out’.

    At Ferrari, the team come first. They always have and always will. If the team think it’s in the best interests of the team for one driver to support the other later in the season, they will do it because the team is bigger than the individual. To all those saying Kimi won’t be happy to move over for Alonso, well he did it to Massa back in 2008, and that was whilst he was world champion!

    Yes, Massa has effectively been a number 2 at Ferrari but that’s only because Alonso has been their only realistic title contender since he’s been there. Incidents like Germany 2010 and America 2012 only happened because he was so far behind up to that point. If Massa was stronger earlier on in 2010 (not getting beaten into T1 at Bahrain, not getting overtaking by ALO in the pitlane in China), his fortunes may have been different. Let’s not forget that Ferrari have been very patient with Massa, and at races where the title hasn’t been on the line and Massa has been ahead (Australia 2013, Korea 11), Ferrari haven’t asked him to move over.

    In a way, I can’t help but think Alonso will benefit hugely from Kimi being in the team. Firstly he’ll have a driver there who can take points off his rivals but also it will do his reputation a world of good if he beats Kimi. As a huge Kimi fan, I’m not sure he can compete with Alonso, who in my opinion has been the best driver over the last few years alongside Seb.

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      “At Ferrari, the team come first. They always have and always will.”

      …and if Luca keeps on spouting that out it’ll deflect attention on to Alonso and away from how poor their car is and has been for years.

    2. Lars J says:

      Great comment and I believe you’re quite right in the analysis. Massa helping Alonso is not a question of Alonso getting his will as a primadonna. It happened because it was the sensible thing to do for the team if they were to get close to any title – which they were in 2010 & 2012 – in spite of a slower car. Nic team work.

    3. Yago says:

      Yes! Congratulations Anil Parmar. This is the first truly balanced and serious post I have read since Kimi signed (although I probably left out pretty many). That’s exactly the way it is, I’m glad at least one person sees the picture undistorted.

      1. Anil says:

        Thanks for the comment! I can’t wait for next year already! let’s just hope one engine doesn’t dominate and that we aren’t robbed of great battles.

    4. krischar says:

      Excellent post Anil parmar

      Really thoughtful comments and holds plenty of truth rather than non-sense anti-alonso stories

      “As a huge Kimi fan, I’m not sure he can compete with Alonso, who in my opinion has been the best driver over the last few years alongside Seb” – Absolutely true and correct

      You have made my made

      Alos kudos to you for being very objective (Despite you are kimi fan). Alonso has the little extra magic over kimi when it comes to skill and speed in F1

      Also your comments about massa are spot on.

      1. Anil says:

        Thank you! Much appreciate.

        Funnily enough, I used to despise Alonso before he went to Ferrari but you really can’t help but admire the guy. The truth is, they would be nowhere without him.

    5. Jordan says:

      Well put my friend.

      Especially bit about taking points off Seb. If Ferrari are strong or Seb has a bad day, then a 1-2 will relegate Vettel to third on the podium. Either way one of them will be acting as an effective rear gunner for the other by seasons end.

    6. David Ryan says:

      With all due respect, I think that’s letting Ferrari off the hook a bit lightly in terms of their Machiavellian tendencies. To take one example you raise, Germany 2010, the gap between Alonso and Massa at the halfway stage of the season was 37 points. Under the points system (the same as now), that equated to one win and one fourth place – or in other words, less of a gap than Kimi overturned in the last few races of 2007. Massa had a shaky few races before Germany, no question, but his pace overall was strong enough to keep him in contention. The simple fact is that Ferrari told him to move aside because Alonso – who is by general admission a very politically minded driver – got the team on his side. I remember the reaction at the time, and much of it focused on how there was no need for Ferrari to favour one driver over another that early in the season. Massa had a genuine chance to win a race, and it was taken from him – in that context it’s no real surprise his confidence was shot. Same thing happened with Barrichello. If anything Ferrari probably owe Massa a favour for not kicking up a massive stink about how he’s been treated.

      Also, I suspect the comments about Alonso throwing his toys out of the pram do have some foundation if the events of 2007 (among other seasons) are anything to go by. He’s a very talented driver, no question, but he’s not beyond mind games by any means. The whole samurai routine last season was a prime example.

      1. Anil Parmar says:

        Whilst it was only 37 points (the gap between them) it was clear at that point that their car wasn’t on the level of RBR or at times even the Mclaren. Alonso has made mistakes earlier in the year but the team knew what he was capable of and therefore backed him (which you have to admit, was the correct decision given the run he went on after Spa).

        In the end, I really felt for Massa but he was struggling a bit on 2010, not just due to the pressure Alonso put on him but also with the harder compound tyre, which he routinely struggled on and was often a few tenths slower on per lap compared to Alonso.

      2. David Ryan says:

        Given the pace the car demonstrated later in the season (as you highlight by alluding to Alonso’s run of results), I’d say the 2010 Ferrari was there or thereabouts from Germany onwards so I feel your claim it was not a match for the Red Bull or McLaren is not entirely accurate. In 2012 that was certainly the case, but in 2010 the cars were much closer. Both drivers, given the pace they were showing when things were going to plan (which is probably the key difference, as I’ll explain below), could have hauled themselves back into contention with the support of the team. Yet Massa’s motivation and form (to a certain extent) tailed off considerably from Germany onwards, and I feel it’s reasonable to point to a connection between that and Ferrari’s judgement call. He was indeed struggling with the harder compound tyre, but that is something which set-up issues could have addressed had sufficient effort gone into it, and in Germany in particular it was exaggerated by Massa being in fuel saving mode and Alonso still on full fat mode in the laps leading up to the position swap. Fighting with one hand tied behind your back springs to mind. The key difference between Alonso and Massa leading up to Germany was, quite simply, luck. Massa had shown he was capable of finishing ahead of Alonso at Monaco and Turkey, among others, and there’s no reason to doubt he could have done so again had his set-up issues been resolved. However, he was taken out of the points by Schumacher in Canada and suffered more than Alonso with the safety car in Valencia. I can understand why they made the call they did, but as far as I can see it was based on a snap judgement and justification by hindsight is of limited effect. A fully confident Massa may have proved a stronger contender. But therein lies the problem – Massa has always been a confidence driver, and Ferrari haven’t particularly done much to foster that in recent seasons. Still, they do have form in this department so it’s not particularly a surprise.

      3. Yago says:

        Look, Massa was 37 points (according to you, I don’t remember exactly) behind Alonso (which is A LOT for mid season) but the thing is: how many points was him behind the leader? Even for Alonso it was really hard to recover his deficit, think about adding 37 points.

        Then, Alonso was MUCH faster that weekend than Massa, and that helped. And no, Massa’s pace was not strong enough overall to keep him in contention, that’s going waay wrong on the analysis. Had they been on par that weekend, and had Massa been closer pace wise to Alonso until then, Ferrari would not have asked Massa to move over.

        But I’m getting a bit tired of all this already. See it the way you want…

      4. David Ryan says:

        You can check it for yourself if you like – Alonso was on 98 points to Massa’s 61, which by my mental arithmetic gives a difference of 37. The leader, Lewis Hamilton, was on 145. Given Hamilton finished 12 points behind Alonso in the final standings, I wouldn’t agree that it was “really hard to recover his deficit”. He did so quite comfortably – particularly given that before Abu Dhabi, and his inability to pass Petrov, he was 24 points ahead of Hamilton. (Check the Brazilian Grand Prix article if you doubt me) As for Alonso being “MUCH faster that weekend”, the difference between them in qualifying was an average of 0.4s and in the race Alonso was still on his “full fat” engine mode whereas Massa had been told to go into fuel saving mode (as was confimed in the WMSC hearing) in the build-up to the pass. Before then, the two had been trading equal lap times. So with respect, “the way” I see it is based on an appreciation of the full facts. I have no axe to grind against Alonso, nor Ferrari. But I do have a basic sense of fair play, and what happened in Germany did not come remotely close to that. The fact that it is Formula 1 and such things have happened before does not make any difference to the matter in my view.

      5. Yago says:

        I allready new the difference was about 0.4s when I said Alonso was MUCH faster. If for you that is not being MUCH faster then I think we can stop talking now, as we are watching different sports.
        And sorry but yes, Alonso was much faster on the hard compound (not so on the softer though). Check the laps right after the pit stop (strange you didn’t mention those laps given you know so much from that Grand Prix). After that alonso backed off with low revs untill the gap was about 5 or 6 seconds, then he started to lap as fast as he could on full revs and catched Massa again in not many laps. He did that as a message to his team. Massa had been on full revs before so he at some point later had to take a compromise on that front. Whatever you want to believe Alonso was MUCH faster than Massa that weekend.
        And please, notice I am deffending Ferrari, not Alonso, before you go with the Alonso fanboy argument. Actually, you are the one giving Alonso super powers, suggesting he is able to bend a team of Ferrari’s calibre to his childish desires by his own.
        Just to show you are not the only one

      6. David Ryan says:

        Actually, my definition of what is “MUCH faster” is based on an appreciation of motorsport over the best part of 20 years, including F1, sportscars and other formulae. 0.4s average difference over 3 laps is pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. If it was closer to 0.8s or indeed 1s I would happily agree with you, but in this case I feel you are stretching the facts to suit your argument.
        As for your claims about the laps after the pit stops, according to the FORIX archive chart the gap was consistently around 1s from immediately after the pitstops until around lap 22, after which point it increased to around approximately 4-5s. That somewhat contrasts with your image of Alonso being much faster in those laps, which would have pointed to the gap shrinking dramatically after the pitstop. This did not happen. Indeed, if we are talking about convenient omissions you neglect to mention both that Massa set the fastest laps of the race consistently up to lap 28 (on the hard tyre), or that Alonso was also told to save fuel only to then be told to turn his engine up again once Massa had done so. The gap proceeded to shrink thereafter, and with respect I am not that great a believer in coincidence. Your final comment about my view of Alonso, meanwhile, is amusing but highly wide of the mark – it is not bestowing superpowers to suggest someone is capable of getting people on their side, particularly in a team like Ferrari which gravitates towards such drivers in the first place.

      7. Yago says:

        It’s clear you don’t remember the race. After the pit stops Alonso tried an overtaking move on Massa, but Massa closed the door quite ruthlessly. Hence the radio message ” hey guys, this is ridiculous”. The lap times were equal because Alonso was backed by Massa.

        And just a question. How many times did you see a difference near a second in modern F1? I tell you one, Alonso over Massa in Singapore 2011. About 9 tenths. I don’t remember another example.

      8. David Ryan says:

        I do remember the race, thank you very much – the fact that you believe otherwise does not make it thus. This is not Wonderland after all. Alonso did indeed try to pass, and Massa had every right to put up a fight – they were racing for the win, after all. Why should it be “ridiculous” for Massa to do what he is paid to do? As for your explanation of the lap times being equal, that isn’t borne out by the gap being consistently 1s until Massa was caught out by traffic (something which, again, you omit to mention conveniently).

        Finally, seeing as you ask about a difference near a second, I could point to the first race of 2010 among others. Webber qualified 1.1s behind Vettel in Q3 in Bahrain. So there are other examples, much as you claim otherwise, and the point still stands.

      9. Yago says:

        Thanks for pointing out the example of Vettel over Webber at Bahrein, I didn’t remember. So very good. We have two examples in four years, that’s not too much… xD

        Look, I think if you watch qualifying and the race again you would agree Alonso was confortably faster. But if you still don’t agree, it’s okey, everybody has his opinion. But for sure Ferrari did see it the way I do, because whatever you think if Massa had qualified in front and had outraced Alonso Ferrari would not have asked him to move over.

        For me the discusion has ended, everybody has his own opinion, and that’s a good thing. I have mine and you have yours!

      10. David Ryan says:

        It was but one further example – if you’d like to look for more you will find them, but with the greatest of respect I have more rewarding things to do with my time. The point still stands (and I’m not alone in holding this view) that a difference of 0.4s over 3 laps is not considered “MUCH faster” by accepted motor sport standards. A difference in the region of 0.8s certainly is, and over half a second difference is considered more conclusive but still not in the manner you describe. To illustrate the point, Alonso qualified 0.4s behind Massa at the US Grand Prix last year. By your definition, Massa was therefore “MUCH faster” than Alonso. I trust you can see the problem with this in light of your assessment of the situation.

        I have already commented on the course of qualifying and the race, and do not intend to repeat myself other than to say Alonso was only comfortably faster once he had the advantage of a more powerful engine map (as was confirmed in submissions to the WMSC). It was an engineered situation in the most literal sense of the word, so drawing meaningful comparisons is something of a fool’s errand I would suggest. Ferrari made their decision for whatever reasons they did, and it remains a controversial decision.

        I respect your opinion, but I trust you can see why I disagree with it.

      11. Yago says:

        Yes, Massa was comfortably faster at Texas last year. It is a long circuit with lots of corners, and four tenths there are not as much as four tenths at Hockenheim, but as I said he was comfortably faster than Alonso. At the race it was more even, but he was still faster. That, along with Bahrein and Turkey 2010, and Interlagos 2012, were Massa’s best qualifyings performances compared to Alonso in four years!

        I can see why you disagree with my opinion, and it is because you are assuming the difference in speed was due to a difference on the engine map. On that respect, notice the following. By the time Massa let Alonso trough, Vettel was catching him and lapping faster, he was a real threat. Massa had to push those last laps to hold off Vettel, but Alonso comfortably increased the gap. So I don’t know (nor do you) what engine map where each driver using at each stage of the race. What I know is once Alonso was in front Massa was using maximum revs available (was that full revs or not) because Vettel was a real threat, and still he was slower than Alonso. That together with the laps after the pit stop where of course both were at maximum revs, and together with qualifying (4 tenths difference in Q1, 4 tenths in Q2 and 5 tenths in Q3) tell me enough.

        And the information than I have in the build up to the pass is different as I already told you. Alonso did back off saving engine power and tyres after he was not able to pass Massa after the pit stop. He and the team arranged the situation: backing off a bit and then show his real speed. This is what transcended in the eyes of well informed spanish media (one that is very close to Alonso and his environment, and as close as it is possible to Ferrari).

        On the 1 second thing, come on… On a dry track it is almost impossible to see differences of over a second. I am talking of modern F1, as it is what this is about, not any other motor sport. Differences of half a second, if they are frequent, are more than enough to consider sacking a driver from a top team.

      12. David Ryan says:

        With all due respect, you have something of a contradiction going on there. On the one hand, you continue to suggest that 0.4 seconds is always “comfortably faster” – on the other, you suggest it’s not as significant at some circuits as it is others which means it isn’t always “comfortably faster”. Those statements are at loggerheads with each other. Either 0.4 seconds is always comfortably faster, or it isn’t.

        I must admit I take issue with you saying that I “assume” the difference in speed was down to the engine map. Given that the WMSC verdict specifically made mention to Massa being ordered to fuel save throughout, and Alonso being told to fuel save but then switched back to the ordinary map, I’d say causation is pretty well demonstrated. Massa was not at any point told to switch back to the ordinary map. The engine settings for each car during the race is a matter of reported fact, so claiming it is based on my “assumption” is incorrect. It is also a matter of reported fact that as early in the season as the aftermath of the Australian Grand Prix, Alonso demanded (and was granted) a promise of priority should the drivers find themselves in formation again. Autosport confirmed this as recently as their 19 September edition. You will perhaps forgive me if I placed greater credence on that than the account of otherwise unidentified members of the Spanish media (who are not necessarily uninterested parties in the matter of Alonso).

        Finally, if you would look at my previous comment again you will notice that I did say “A difference in the region of 0.8s certainly is, and over half a second difference is considered more conclusive”. 0.8 seconds and half a second are both less than a second, so with respect I fail to see why you have reverted back to the “1 second thing”. My comments are based on generally accepted standards in modern motorsport, F1 included, and your assertion that frequent differences of half a second are “more than enough” to warrant sacking is not borne out by activity in the driver market as far as I can determine.

        This has probably gone on long enough, so I intend to leave it there.

    7. Zinobia says:

      Anil Parmar, Kimi will not support Alonso if he isn’t mathematically out of the championship.

      I think the situation is somewhat different the what you described, 99.95% of the fans already think Alonso will be ahead of Kimi. So if Alonso is ahead of Kimi it will not mean much. Kime is the underdog in this situation.

      Kimi on the otherhand doesn’t have much to lose , people already think he can not succeed against Alonso. If he runs Alonso close or if he perhaps get ahead of Alonso it will be a strike against Alonso.

    8. Torchwood Five says:

      I get the team philosophy; but sabotaging your own drivers’ gearbox to throw him back five grid places is in-defensible in my opinion.

    9. Sasidharan says:

      Spot on Anil.

    10. Elie says:

      Ask yourself something then- why are you a huge Kimi fan and if its anything to do with his anility-why would you doubt he has it what takes to at least challenge FA… There are fans and then people who just say it..

      1. Anil Parmar says:

        As much as I love Kimi, I just don’t see him as the Kimi of old (2005-2007). I think Andrea Stella, who’s worked with them both said it best when he said that Kimi is incredibly fast when the car is set up to his liking, whereas Alonso is incredibly fast in all condition. Alonso has a gift of being able to adapt his driving style completely, which will be so important next year when the cars will be undeveloped and lacking aero.

        That said, I expect Kimi to be able to challenge Alonso, he’s incredibly talented, but this is the guy that got beaten by Massa because the car had too much understeer..

      2. Elie says:

        You said “I’m not sure he can compete with Alonso” in your first post- now you’ve changed your mind. There is a big diff between not beating Fernando and not being able to compete…. You really don’t have a clue do you

      3. Anil says:

        In response to Elie, there’s no need to offensive in response to my post :/

        To be clear, I think that whilst he may not be able to out do Alonso over a season, he will be able to push him much more than Massa currently does. It all depends on how he adapts to car and how it is developed. If the car leans towards under steer again he will fall back, just as he has done in the past. His strongest asset will be his car control; will next years cars producing much more talk we may yet see some rallying from him!

      4. Yago says:

        Being a Fan is not the same as being blind… As an example, I am a huge Contador fan, but I believe he is not going to win next years Tour de France, as there are some strnoger guys out there know. Alonso is a better driver than Kimi, not admitting it is being a bit blind… And I like Kimi a lot.

      5. Elie says:

        This year Kimi / Seb have been the best. Last year Fernando was the best but not by much over Hamilton and Raikkonen especially given Kimis first year back..

        With things so close — no one can say for sure can they. And no matter what people think.. You must take into account the resources of Ferrari compared to Lotus- this is the whole reason Kimi is leaving for Ferrari..

        I like it when people keep underestimating him.. Because maybe its just me that constantly gets it right with Kimi.. Before he returned last year – I said he would get several podiums and probably 2 wins.. When most people in the paddock did not rate him much of a chance.I believe it will be a very even battle – and given the car his his way Kimi can win.

        Felipe only beat Kimi when Schumacher set the 2008 /9 Ferrari the way Felipe wanted it- that’s already been clarified many times. People who are blind CAN’T see that people whinare blind cant see that Kimi destroyed Felipe these kast 2 seasons can they. Or the fact that he has challenged and beaten Fernando in a the lotus. Fernando controls Ferrari and the minute he clicks his fingers Felipe had to move… Well that’s not going to happen any more..We will see…

      6. Yago says:

        Ok. We will have this conversation again next year. Let’s see who is right! If it is you, I will recon here I was wrong and you were right.

      7. Anil says:

        Agree with you post. Either way I’ll be at Silverstone next year with my Kimi cap on. let’s hope for a great year :)

  15. Elie says:

    Like I said before the two critical elements behind the decision. 1. Experience and ability to adapt very quickly.
    2. James Allison knows he can work effectively with him.

    All the other things have always been there for all to see -team player, his speed and consistency, no politics , no lies, marketing potential, doesn’t care about opposition. These are all secondary to the above 2.

    1. Mingojo says:

      Fernando has also worked with Allison! ;-)

  16. Denorth says:

    It is an interesting season coming. Well

    Can that bunny photos being about Ferrari ‘hurting’ Lotus by stealing their guy?

    1. Sebee says:

      I think they are trying to say that one of the bunnies is Kimi. But which one? :-)

  17. Harshad says:

    All the more expected reaction, when people are saying Alonso will be better than Raikkonen,but I still think if the car suits RAI more and ofcourse if its reliable enough, RAI will have upper hand over ALO just by sheer speed.

    I’m not implying ALO is slower, but RAI can be still be faster driver of the two, if the car suits RAI.

    1. Charlie says:

      Correct.

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Of course, if you have two drivers and you give them the same car but that car is made for only one of the drivers, the other will struggle. But the thing is Kimi suffers a bit of the “Trulli syndrome”, the less the car suits to him, the worse he drives, while Alonso is probably the driver who adapts better and faster to any machinery he is given. That plus the facts Kimi can`t work on the simulator, he doesn’t visit the factory often, Alonso has three extra months from now to do that and de la Rosa beeing on Alonso’s side, i can’t see a good begining of 2014 for Kimi.

    3. Sebastian says:

      Valid point. Getting a car that suitts your friving style seems to be really important in formula 1 these days.

    4. Paul Watson says:

      One thing that is for sure is that these two are probably the most ruthless overtakers in the business, so if they are comparable in races and come up against each other, i think it’ll be no holds barred stuff.

      By ruthless i also mean professional and fair. Ham is also a brilliant overtaker but i feel his ability to defend from a pursuer isn’t as good as ALO and RAI.

  18. Steven L says:

    As an F1 fan, it has to be a great move.

    No longer will Alonso be unfairly supported in his battles with his rivals, he will have to fight them like everybody else.

    We will also get to see if he can actually beat Kimi in battle, he got beaten by a Rookie in the only fair fight he has ever had and there will always be question marks over his actual speed, especially in Quali. How he handles defeat and an equal teammate will also be fascinating. I think he will unravel again, we have already seen and heard clues to this, calling his team “idiots” this weekend in front of the Tifosi.

    One rumour is that he will take a sabbatical, most will just see that as ducking out of a straight fight.

    1. Diesel says:

      By “beaten by a Rookie in the only fair fight…..”, I presume you mean Hamilton in 2007.

      Do you mean beaten in terms of the same points but on count back? Not more firsts. Or seconds, or thirds. Same points and one more fourth place?

      And do you mean it was fair when it was the year in which Dennis went to the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards and protested McLaren’s points penalty but not Alonso’s grid penalty?The same season in which Dennis uttered the immortal words, “we were fighting Fernando”? That doesn’t seem like a fair fight to me but I stand to be persuaded if you are able to answer the above questions.

      1. CarlH says:

        +1

        The amount of comments citing a distorted version of events from 2007, all to make Alonso look bad, is astounding.

      2. Rockie says:

        “By “beaten by a Rookie in the only fair fight…..”, I presume you mean Hamilton in 2007.

        Do you mean beaten in terms of the same points but on count back? Not more firsts. Or seconds, or thirds. Same points and one more fourth place?”

        This amazes me a lot when people say this, its beyond ridiculous.
        So in your own opinion had Raikkonen not won Alonso would have won as they finished on equal points, do not make me laugh please.

      3. Chris says:

        2007 was long ago and yet this one still rolls on and on. Alonso has no one else to blame for what happened at McLaren, and as much as his fans want to bury it, he should have crushed Lewis, he didn’t and instead of competing he ran to the hills and spent a couple of years in the wild when he should have been winning WDC’s. Which I have no doubt he would have done had he honoured his contract. It will be interesting to see if his advancing years and quest to be remembered as an all time great, will see him tough it out against Kimi for the next two years or jump ship again?

      4. VP of Common Sense says:

        Rockie- Score the 2007 season under the current 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 format. Kimi 272, Alonso 266, Hamilton 265. And let’s not forget Hamilton’s 12 point lead over Alonso heading into the final two GP as well as his nearly insurmountable 17 point lead over Raikkonen. Lewis wipes out on the beach in Shanghai and can only manage a stout 7th place in the Interlagos finale to get beaten to the title by Kimi by a point. Had McLaren given Fernando some real support in the 2nd half of the year, he probably would have won 3 straight WDCs.

      5. Doobs says:

        The issue was with the notion it was a “fair fight”. DO try and keep up… Jeez.

      6. clyde says:

        And do you mean it was fair when it was the year in which Dennis went to the Hungarian Grand Prix stewards and protested McLaren’s points penalty but not Alonso’s grid penalty?The same season in which Dennis uttered the immortal words, “we were fighting Fernando”? That doesn’t seem like a fair fight to me but I stand to be persuaded if you are able to answer the above questions…….. rockie you forgot to answer part of the question :-)

      7. Tyemz says:

        you can laugh all you can but I think you are still taking a one sided view of things. Hamilton would probably have won but it wasn’t a fair fight as suggested by Steven L because the team principal even said “we are fighting Alonso”.
        If you follow Diesel’s analysis of what separated them at the end of the season, it would be equivalent to being separated by ten thousandths in a race. I guess if the rankings was the other way round, FA would have still lost in the eyes of his haters cos he only won on countback.

      8. Diesel says:

        Apologies. I am indeed wrong and now stand correct.

        Doobs and clyde, thanks for pointing out the salient issue for me which is that stevel hasn’t yet justified his fair fight assertion. And the suggestion that Alonso was favoured in Monaco is ridiculous, it’s where he’s first reported to have been dismayed by Dennis who’s first words to him were “be nice to Lewis”. Not “well done” or ” congtats”. They had been worried about getting the cars to the end and agreed first through Ste Devote won.

        I fail to see how anyone would have felt equal to Hamilton in 2007.

      9. KRB says:

        VP of CS, why on Earth should we overlay current scoring onto 2007?!?! That makes absolutely NO SENSE!

        If anyone thinks that Dennis hired Alonso from Renault with big money, all with the intention of bringing in a rookie to upstage him with, they’re nuts! Dennis likely thought that Alonso would be the clear #1 driver, on ability/experience alone, and that Hamilton would have a decent rookie season, but would make the common rookie mistakes here and there.

        At first it was that way … Hamilton was over performing, but it wasn’t enough to get McLaren off thinking that Alonso was their best long-term bet. But over time, Hamilton started out performing Alonso (on corrected fuel levels at first, then being given Q3 fuel preference), putting in the results, and the team naturally moved to him. Canada and USA were big turning points in this, when Hamilton snagged his first two wins.

        As for the blown lead, I don’t blame Lewis for that at all. I blame McLaren, for risking it all to win with panache in China, when all that was needed was to play the percentages, bring home a result, and eliminate Kimi from the DWC chase. Leaving Hamilton out there on tires worn down to the canvas was pure madness. I suppose Lewis could’ve taken the pit entrance slower, I guess his engineer could’ve suggested it. Fact remains it was a risky situation to put an experienced driver in, nevermind a rookie. And all utterly unnecessary.

        As for Brazil, those gearbox gremlins … have we seen anything like that since?!? Still lots of things not right about Brazil 2007. But that’s over now. In terms of pure drama, 2007 was one of the best seasons ever. It’s what we fans live for. Alonso-Kimi will hopefully be just as good.

      10. David Ryan says:

        Diesel: I think you may want to check the Wikipedia article on the 2007 season again. Hamilton took 5 second places to Alonso’s 4, hence why he – and not Alonso – took second in the standings. Fourth places (on which they are tied, incidentally) do not come into the equation.

        Insofar as Hungary is concerned, Alonso incurred a penalty through his decision (and his alone) to hold Hamilton up owing to the perceived slight when Hamilton didn’t give way during the fuel burn phase (which was itself in breach of instructions, it has to be said).

        I’m no Hamilton apologist, nor an Alonso basher, but the fact that Alonso’s reputation has been tarnished over the last few years does not give carte blanche for revisionism.

      11. KRB says:

        It was actually 2nd’s that decided the countback. Same number of wins (4), but on 2nd’s it was HAM 5-4 ALO.

        Alonso was protected in the earlier part of the season by McLaren (e.g. Monaco). He wanted the team to make Hamilton cede the lead (and the win) in USA, which thankfully didn’t happen. If Dennis didn’t want to give Alonso a chance, he could’ve easily caused his car to fail in the later races.

        I wonder what McLaren would’ve done in the final laps at Brazil if Hamilton was running 6th and not 7th … would they have told Alonso to box for some made-up problem, to secure the title for Lewis?

      12. Yago says:

        I’m a bit tired of this 2007 thing but seriously, can you tell me how did exactly McLaren protect Alonso in Monaco?? By the way, I can not recall such a speed difference between team mates in Monaco as that Alonso had over Hamilton during the first stint. From then on, it was just cruising. The truth is Hamilton was obliterated by Alonso in that race. And if one of them was protected it was Hamilton, as he deserved a tweak in the ears for not listening to the team and turn revs down, when his team mate had already done so…

      13. Ryan Eckford says:

        If Alonso mind didn’t get the better of him in that qualifying session, he would have finished on the podium at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix, and he would have been a three-time World Champion.

      14. Paul Watson says:

        +1, can’t wait for the truth to eventually come out (if it ever does). Massive ALO fan but an autobiography has the potential to expose nearly everyone in the business by the amount of questionable events he has had dealings with.

        P.S. can’t wait for the Anti-Alo army to jump on the term “questionable” lol

    2. clyde says:

      steven l are you saying there was equality at McLaren in 2007 ….don’t make me laugh

  19. Charlie says:

    This really is huge news, isn’t it? The world media has now proven that with its reaction. Something like this hasn’t happened in F1 for 20 years. Button joining Hamilton at Mclaren could be considered a similar move, but I think many people feel that the Brawn’s massive superiority over the field flattered Button, and it’s interesting to see that when people refer to the “best” drivers in F1 these days they talk about Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen.

    For me this news is huge because Alonso and Raikkonen have been two monsters of the sport for the last 10 years, with engineers often speaking in hushed tones of their qualities (obviously in that 10 year period Schumacher, Vettel and Hamilton have also shone.) I recall an article in F1 Racing about 5 years ago which showed that these two drivers had the most fans globally in F1 too (when MSC was enjoying his first retirement). Considering that, this is a bit of a master-stroke by Ferrari. They haven’t won the WDC for six years now so they can afford to take risks and interesting decisions. This move will bring in a lot of money given that Alonso and Raikkonen are so widely supported.

    It is interesting that the media are so sure that Alonso will beat Raikkonen. I seriously think that this depends on a number of factors. If the car suits one of them more that the other then that will play its part. If Alonso feels that he’s not getting preferential treatment then psychology, politics and infighting will play their part. If Kimi doesn’t care enough to fight outside the car, in the garage, in negotiating with his bosses etc, then he may fade…

    But this is all lazy conjecture… The real question I want answered is why Kimi really left a team in which he was adored, given preferential treatment, allowed artistic-control over the development of the car and so on, to go up against another monster of the sport in Alonso?

    a) He knows something from James Allison that we don’t?

    b) He simply hasn’t even considered Alonso, doesn’t care about anything really, and wants a car under new regulations that is built by a rich team who stand a better chance of success than Lotus? (This would make sense given his flirtation with Red Bull).

    c) He has no respect for Alonso and is pretty sure that under the new regulations he’ll beat him?

    d) He wants €11 million over the next two years so that he can retire, buy an ice hockey team and chill out?

    Why Kimi…why?

    :)

    1. Charlie says:

      p.s. Bravo James – honestly this site provides the only really decent F1 journalism in the world. Why is that? Is it that there’s not enough money in F1 journalism given that there are only 20ish races a year and therefore most F1 journalists only do it part time?

      p.p.s. Mark Hughes tends to write well too.

      p.p.p.s. Off topic. Sorry.

      1. James Allen says:

        Feels like. Full time job to me!

        Thanks

      2. Charlie says:

        No problem. I used to comment here a lot when you started the site (until Kimbo left of course). Now he’s back I’m getting back into it…and yes, this is the best place to read good F1 journalism and share thoughts with articulate fans without exception.

        Plus, I’ll always be grateful for this site since I always got the impression that it showed you how popular Kimi really is with fans (because of all our outspoken posts on your site!)…something you perhaps didn’t get from your ITV days…?

    2. Stuart Harrison says:

      I suspect the real why is that James Allison left to join Ferrari. Remember, the car is 80-90% of the performance, the driver makes up the rest. Having a decent car is most of the battle, as Vettel is currently enjoying.

      Personally, I suspect that Raikkonen will take 3-4 races to get settled in, then regularly start challenging Alonso in races. At which point, if they have a half-decent car, they’re going to run away with one or both of the titles.

      Frankly, I don’t care which of them rises to the top (my money is on Alonso, much as I respect Kimi), but the possibility that we might see a team other than Red Bull winning a championship fills me with excitement.

      I think Kimi’s made a very good decision to join Ferrari. The salary can’t harm either.

      Off-hand, does anyone know how much Vettel is getting paid annually?

      1. RodgerT says:

        Usually I do think that even top tier drivers need a half season to get bedded in with a new team, but next years cars will be quite different from this year so there may not be much difference between the two from the start in 2014. So they might be at it from the off.

        Regarding Vettel salary there’s an article about the salaries of top paid drivers in all motorsports floating around that I’ve seen qouted today that says Vettel is drawing ~$12-14 million.

      2. garyp says:

        >>>>>I suspect the real why is that James Allison left to join Ferrari<<<<<

        Dont forget Rory Byrne lurkin in the background he has been working on the car for a while

    3. Marpabel says:

      Charlie
      It wasn’t so long time ago(negotiation of contract), when Lopez said: Kimis first and main priority is fast car. Money isn’t Kimis first priority. So, certainly not your point (d). Probably points (a,b).

      1. Charlie says:

        I agree…thought I’d throw the money thing in to amuse those who believed the “motivation” thing ;)

    4. Doobs says:

      They didn’t pay him..? Just a thought.

  20. Ian Spencer says:

    If Alonso is still the person he appeared to be at McLaren, i.e. prepared to go to any lengths to assert himself over the other driver, then any team mate is going to be problematic. Massa did not evoke a threat to Alonso.

    Remember that Hamilton was well suited to the car and was able to outperform Alonso even with his inexperience, to Alonso’s dismay. Hamilton was such a delight to the team that they could not help but show favouritism. Alonso didn’t fight back through on the track superiority but by public displays of petulance.

    Interesting also to see how Hamilton coped with his shaky start at Mercedes – regardless of what happened behind closed doors, publicly he shouldered the blame.

    Given that any driver performing to Ferrari’s hopes should be expected to be a GP winner, young upstart or proven performer, it will be the test of whether Alonso has matured or whether that evil streak still remains.

    1. KRB says:

      Even though Massa didn’t evoke a threat, Alonso definitely dealt him a broadside in China 2010 when he cut in front of him in the pitlane entrance!

  21. Joe says:

    Hi James

    What do you make of Gazzetta dello Sport’s comments regarding Irvine and Barrichello? I only started following F1 in 2001 so have no opinion on Irvine….but do you believe Massa has been better than both? Or is it fairer to compare those drivers with a pre/post Hungary 09 Massa?

    Also what do you put Raikkonen’s performance versus Massa in 2008 and 2009 down to? Is it as straightforward as ‘Massa was quicker’ or was there something about the car/tyres that he didn’t get on with in those seasons? Because otherwise, Kimi’s career has been nothing other than exemplary, it must be said.

    1. Andre says:

      Lots of things can happen in F1, one can have a few bad races/finishes due to certain circumstances and before you know it you are way behind in the championship.
      I think most people in F1 will say that Raikkonen has more natural speed then Massa also before Hungary, but season’s like 2008/2009 happen.

      If you ask people who the topdrivers in F1 are, not by results but by natural driving skill then most people will say Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen in no particular order.
      Nothing bad about Massa, he is a great racer too.

  22. CYeo says:

    Lets see now

    Fire melts ice into water,
    Water drowns out fire,
    Fire evaporates water into steam,
    Which floats away.

    Kimi is gonna fly away with this.

    1. Antti says:

      If water drowns out the fire, there’s no more fire left to evaporate the water into steam! ;)

      1. Elie says:

        Steam condenses becomes water.. Then ice again.. It’s far more flexible and adaptable !

      2. Doobs says:

        Depends what you’re cooking. I like my Bull seared (medium rare) not frozen.

  23. Ed says:

    There has been a lot of comment about how this will help Ferrari in the constructors championship. That’s true, but just as important will be the ability of both drivers in red to take big points off drivers from other teams to hels in the drivers championship. It less likely that a points lead in the championship can be defended by only talking podium places in the latter half of the year.
    They need to be able to actually challange for wins before this has any value, but once they can I think it’s an important element of any championship push.

    1. Timmay says:

      Correct.

      I am pretty sure you could count the points Massa has taken off Vettel with your fingers & toes (across all seasons). Nowhere near good enough.

  24. ayrton4ever says:

    I believe Alonso and Kimi will get along ok… and I also think that ALonso will be better thank Kimi…

  25. All revved-up says:

    Perhaps we have not seen the end of the silly season yet.

    Alonso could take his sponsors money to Lotus – if he views Lotus as being a complete team apart from money.

    Arguably, based on 2013 performance at least, Lotus has done a better job than Mercedes and possibly Ferrari. But for bad luck in the last two races Kimi would be ahead of Hamilton on points.

    McLaren too are looking inadequate on the driver front – and need a star driver. No point spending all the money and time and effort only to not have the drivers who can show what the car is capable off. Perhaps burnt bridges can be rebuilt when ambitions are aligned.

    So it’s possible that Ferrari signed Kimi, as a first step.

    Once Ferrari has made clear that the Alonso as number 1 with a subservient no2 driver strategy is not something Ferrari wants to pursue any longer – Ferrari know this may cause Alonso to leave.

    i.e. Alonso’s strategy and Ferrari’s strategy may no longer be aligned. The former focused on WDC, the latter WCC.

    1. EA says:

      LOL at this post ^^

      Alonso taking his sponsorship and going to Lotus?? hahahaha the only team any driver would rather go right now is Red Bull. That actually applies to every driver, and it is actually what Kimi did.

      You make it seem a novel idea that Alonso’s strategy is focused on the WDC… LOL x1,000

      Every driver is focused on the WDC! It’s the job of the team to get these individual ambitions and turn it into a WCC.

    2. Doobs says:

      Alonso has a longer contract than Kimi so he’s still the main focus of their attention. Kimi has already showed he’s likely to go off the boil if the car’s not great. Alonso always gives 100%

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Of course a driver wants to win the WDC and that will be their priority naturally. The only way to avoid that would be to not have a WDC. Only a WCC. The two drivers of the winning team becoming equal champions. No one wants to see this happen and it won’t but this would be the only way to eliminate internal team mate rivalry.

  26. Robbie says:

    Build the fastest car possible and hire the best drivers possible.

    Bam

    1. James Allen says:

      Go fast, don’t crash

      1. yassin says:

        You forgot the “into each other bit” on the end James.

  27. Matthew Cheshire says:

    Ferrari need to change. They cannot continue to operate a second or third best. Even if Raikonnen is a risk, he is a better solution than guaranteed failure with the status quo.

    The car is the real catalyst here. If it is good, Ferrari will run smoothly. Another second rate car will guarantee conflict. Alonso has unsettled the team by himself because the car is lacking. Kimi will just be a second opinion.

    The next real question is what will happen is Allison struggles to improve the cars? Alonso and Kimi can compete with Vettel if their cars are as good as the red bull. If the cars are still poor, Newey is the only solution for them. Everyone has a price. They will try seriously to take him.

  28. HerrE says:

    The addition of Iceman to the team will finally give Ferrari the boost they need to challenge for the constructor championship!

  29. Justin says:

    lucky escape for the Hulk. Everyone wants to drive for Ferrari; he would have the money and the kudos, but would always be a number 2 driver and never get the chance to be world champion that he might get in other teams.

    The options for Ferrari to find the number 2 they were looking for are limited, there is, err, Felipe Massa, and, oh I cant think of anyone else. They would ruin the career of any of the upcoming drivers.

    Anyway the story is a damn site more interesting than the racing at the moment

    1. Glen says:

      Hopefully next year they will drop DRS and silly soft tyres from the regulations.

  30. Frank Oosterhuis says:

    Ferrari wants the constuctor championship.
    A drivers title would just be a bonus.

    Therefor a good choice.

  31. Daniel Vega says:

    This nefarious pairing hopefully will develop into a new narrative for F1 in 2014 especially if the title fight is a bloody cock fight between these two red feathered roosters. Haven’t we all grown tired of Vettel being the cock of the walk?

    1. Andre says:

      Well I will never grow tired of perfection.
      Whatever team, driver of combination of both it is. It’s not RBR fault they keep winning.

      Championships are not interesting for me, I just want to watch exciting races.

      Is it really important outside those that compete who wins?

  32. Mat W says:

    A more interesting poll would be “Has Raikkonen made the right choice returning to Ferrari?”

    1. James Allen says:

      Only time will tell

      Don’t forget part of the decision relates to Lotus’ situation..

    2. All revved-up says:

      Here’s my conspiracy theory – for some silly fun over beers.

      Kimi figured Vettel will be tough to beat in the same car – given SV’s head start in the team.

      But he created the impression RB could possibly field Vettel and Kimi.

      Ferrari already know how hard it is to beat Hamilton/Rosberg/Mercedes.

      Ferrari commences defensive talks with Kimi.

      Kimi knows Alonso wants outright number 1 status.

      Kimi negotiates no number 2 clause in the negotiations. Word gets round. Alonso starting to sound agitated.

      Kimi signs up with Ferrari.

      Alonso packs up, takes his money to Lotus.

      Kimi has number 1 status at Ferrari – now he can fight for WDC against Vettel.

      He might be quiet. But he’s not stupid.

      1. Doobs says:

        I don’t think he’s bothered enough to care either.

    3. Phil says:

      Of course he has; the ice-creams are much nicer at Ferrari ;-)

    4. Elie says:

      Well I don’t think he’s been paid all his money yet, and if they can’t pay his money then I don’t see how they cant build a competitive car –here’s a tip for you- that’s why James Allison left– everyone wants the ability to build a competitive – both these guys felt they did not / will mot have the tools to compete at the top- when engine manufacturers will have a distinct initial advantage.

      Do you go to work when your not being paid.Tough a choice as it was.. Im sure if we were in Raikkonens shoes its a no brainier.

      1. Sebastian says:

        Correct, and they haven’t made a deal with Pirelli yet. And thry haven’t made a deal with an engine supplier yet.

        I would love to see Lotus kick ass, but 2014 is going to be tough!

  33. Robet Lujan says:

    I would have wanted to see another German at Ferrari. Prferrably The Hulk. Sutil would have been fine too. ;-( F1 will be very exciting next year for other reasons than Ferrari’s drivers. The rule changes would be great to change things up a bit. Of course it is great to see Kimi in a competitive car no matter who makes it!

  34. FernanDino says:

    It’s nice to see 83 percent of voters agree with me!

  35. Richard says:

    I don’t think there will necessarily be friction between the two drivers as long as there is parity, and I don’t think Raikkonen would have gone for less.

    1. It certainly isn’t parity in the ‘pay cheque’ department !!

  36. Guillermo says:

    There isn’t a team in Formula 1 that wouldn’t be strengthened by Kimi as a driver. I really don’t see how this can be a bad decision for Ferrari. He’s never caused any friction within a team and he even happily let Massa pass him when he was fighting for the title in 2008.

    Having said that, I’m not totally convinced Kimi will be any happier at Ferrari than he would be if he’d stayed at Lotus and if Ferrari produce a dominant car for next year, I just can’t see him beating Alonso in a two horse race…

    1. Dmitry says:

      Just watch 2014 season $)

  37. william says:

    It’s not about pairing Alonso with someone who can challenge him…you could even pair Alonso with Vettel but it wont change a thing unless the car is improved. Alonso doesn’t need to be pushed. It’s the Ferrari engineers, designers, strategists, mechanics, management, etc., that need to improve.

    1. Andre says:

      +1000

      But 2014 will be different anyway.

    2. Diesel says:

      Absolutely correct. And that’s why he lost the Championship last year, although had Grosjean not been an idiot in Spa, this would have been masked by a World Driver’s crown.

    3. VP of Common Sense says:

      Kimi is there because Ferrari didn’t feel that Massa could get the most out of the car race in and race out when the car wasn’t at it’s best. Considering Ferrari’s form, that has been the case for most of the past 5 years. We have plenty of evidence were Alonso plowed through the field to a podium and Massa floundered in the midfield to the finish. Ferrari want two drivers that will push the car forward for all those 50 or so laps at a Grand Prix. They feel they have that with Alonso and Raikkonen. And no one should feel bad for Massa. His career was extended at Ferrari thanks to Schumacher’s willingness to step aside in 2007 so his friend Massa could retain his seat. Had Michael told Luca he was not quitting, Massa would have been on the short train back to Hinwil (or perhaps racing with Alonso at McLaren) with Michael partnering with Kimi. A shame that did not happen.

  38. dufus says:

    Gee, all the talk of great drivers and fire and ice.
    Ferrari just need a competitive car right ?
    When and if Ferrari create that competitive car and can say they are on a level to compete with Sir Adrian then F1 will be a spectacle to watch for everyone !
    Bring it on …..

    1. Tealeaf says:

      Adrian Newey’s cars are beatable as Alonso proved in 2005 and 2006 by beating Raikkonen, also Alonso has been beating Webber quite easily for years driving the Newey cars, but you forgot they need to separate newey and vettel that’s the only way.

      1. Kimi4WDC says:

        By beating Mercedes engine, Alonso got squashed by 2005 Newey car.

      2. Tyemz says:

        2005/06 is what, like almost 10 years ago now? Present Newey cars are almost unbeatable. I wonder why every comment that tends to suggest Vettel’s driving the best car is met with criticism. Vettel’s no doubt an excellent driver but when his fans go all out to try and bully other fans into believing it’s all about Vettel and nothing about the car, it degrades his achievements really. A real champion doesn’t need his fans campaigning for his place in history, his actions on and off the track should do the talking.

  39. **Paul** says:

    I certainly don’t think Alonso will go out and thrash Kimi in 2014. Kimi is the one who’s beaten established, proven, race winning drivers in the same machinery. Fernando hasn’t really – Massa was never the same after his accident so I’m not counting that.

    I expect it to be really close!

    1. dimitris says:

      I think Kimi will get the upper hand after three to four races. He is,and has always being, a faster driver than Alonso. Alonso has been called the most complete driver but never the fastest driver. He is fast but not the fastest. Kimi on the contrary has always being cited as the most naturally talented and fastest driver, and, after his comeback, I do not know in what respect he cannot be called a complete driver who, however, has retained his blinding speed. He has the benefit of two years in rallying that will come in handy with the new turbo engines. Fuel efficiency and managing the turbo lag will be crucial. Kimi drives everything, motorcycles, bicycles, and one of his strengths is his amazing adaptability to the machine he drives and to the track. Ferrari made a wise choice. The only question is whether Alonso will tolerate being outdriven by the other team driver. My guess is he will not and will depart.

  40. Mark says:

    Well, I think it might be a little bit dangerous for Ferrari, two roosters in the house, but for F1 it will be great!! At least there is going to be much more competition for Alonso, so he will have to push all the time, and as is said it will give Ferrari a much better chance for the Constructors Championship. About the drivers championship i’m not so sure….

    But yes, I think its a good thing Kimi is going to Ferrari, and I hope the pair of them will give Vettel and RBR a good run for their money next year!!!

    1. JimmiC says:

      This comment is even better if you read it with an Aussie accent in mind

  41. Ben says:

    Hi James, are we going to get an article on your insight into kimi’s move? So far you have only mentioned the facts and what is out there but any of your personal and inside perspective would be great for everyone, given how popular the subject is

  42. Andre says:

    Was it good for RM to pay so much for Bale?
    Somethings we will never know.

    F1 is a combination of team, car and drivers.
    The driver aspect is good but it all depends on where in the order the Ferrari car will be next year with the new rules. If its a bad car no Alonso/Raikkonen will make it good.

    If they both can work together and improve the car and themselves and both be fighting for the championship in the end of the season then it was probably a good decision. But the big question is what will happen if for some strange reason only one of them is competitive?

  43. David Smith says:

    So Eddie Jordan was right yet again – how does he do it?

    1. AlexD says:

      Inception

      1. Harshad says:

        LOL, nice one :)

    2. chrisnz says:

      The guy talks complete rubbish 99% of the time , but I’ve come to the conclusion that if he says someone is driving for such and such next year etc he’s bang on the money. Lol probably been told things in confidence yet he still broadcasts them on international television feed

    3. Ashboy says:

      people use him for there own gain, tell him a rumour and he will spout it out.

  44. TheLollipopMan says:

    I voted ‘no’ because the decision was simply a vendetta against Alonso for airing his frustrations publicly. A more prudent choice would have been to hire someone both fast AND compliant. Not someone fast and obstinate. The logical choice would have been Kobayashi, who is already on the Ferrari payroll and has four-year’s experience in F1, and podium places to prove his speed, not to mention that famous Japanese work ethic and acquiescent attitude. Ferrari’s made a “win it or bin it” decision based on angst and ego.

    1. furstyferret says:

      Enough of this kobi worship by some people on this site, he had his chance to show what he could do for four years and was decidedly average for most of it, theres plenty of people on the grid and currently of it, who deserved the Ferrari driveif kimi did not take the drive..

      1. RodgerT says:

        Not just on this site. The boy has some loyal fans.

        He is a good driver, and very entertaining but just didn’t have what it takes to move up the ladder or the backing (money) to keep a seat in the mid-field.

      2. racingspirit says:

        > was decidedly average for most of it

        as well as The Hulk this year, right?

      3. TheLollipopMan says:

        We’ll worship whomever we choose, thanks, Ferret. With two qualifying podiums and a race podium in a midfield (at best) car last season, Kobayashi is not “decidedly average”. Far from it. Many pundits say he’s one of the best overtakers out there. He lost the drive simply because he has no MONEY. Sure, there are other fast drivers, but none would have been as compliant to team orders as Kamui. Ferrari will rue their decision this time next year. You watch.

      4. Darrin from Canada says:

        I had my doubts about him – Kamui – at first. Then he kept getting better and better. When he lost his ride I was not happy. Hope we get to see more of him…

      5. Torchwood Five says:

        Re. “Enough of this kobi worship by some people on this site”

        Back off.

        You might have only noticed “average” performances – more likely shadowed by Sergio’s great work with 2012′s tyres, but Kobayashi put in the sort of spectacle that made some of us supporters.

        Fondness for other drivers doesn’t fade when they leave the grid, why should it happen for Kobayashi’s fans?

    2. Doobs says:

      Maybe they just wanted two of the top four drivers in their team.. makes better sense than some grudge theory against Alonso – who they could always just fire if they don’t want him any more

  45. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    Luca di Monty needs to tread very carefully.

    Changing the game like this may well save his job and be a distraction to the real thing that needs improved at Ferrari – the car, their aero downforce levels, and their in-season development.

    Everyone can see Alonso has out-performed for Ferrari and has done a far better job than di Monty’s management in the past four years.

    They need a car good enough for Kimi to also be able to take points from Red Bull.

    Love the Fire and Ice-cream tags. ;)

  46. Feral says:

    It shows Ferrari is reading what the F1 fans say/want and that they are scared of Red Bull and Seb…who don’t have the restriction of the budget the other teams have, so they cant spend their way to buy a WCC & WDC anymore :)

    1. Me says:

      “It shows Ferrari is reading what the F1 fans say/want and that they are scared of Red Bull and Seb…who don’t have the restriction of the budget the other teams have, so they cant spend their way to buy a WCC & WDC anymore”

      Budget?…. Ferrari?… Mercedes?…

      You’re having a laugh…

  47. Feral says:

    James U the man….you have fill in the space I was missing about F1 since Murry retired :)

    1. Brad says:

      could’nt agree more, should be back commentating the live racing!

  48. Rick says:

    Finally!! since 2005 we have been waiting to see these two go head to head, OK it happened in 2007, both had competitive cars and Kimi came out on top. Back then Kimi was regarded as the fastest F1 driver, suddenly Alonso is faster? I have asked James before if he could draw another comparison between their driving styles and where their speed comes from (throwing in Vettel and Hamilton in the comparison would be even better)
    Lets hope they are given a car that both can tune to their respective styles and then go and rip it out on track while managing the new extra torque from the turbo engines!!! I cant wait!

    1. PM says:

      Ya I agree

      An analysis on Vettel’s, Hamilton’s, Alonso’s, and Raikkonen’s driving styles would be an excellent read.

  49. Hello says:

    When Kimi goes up against Alonso we will all see how fast the Lotus was the last 2 years. if alonso had of stayed with lotus he would have 4 championships now.

    1. Elie says:

      Alonso was with Renault – full factory works team with more than 3 times the budget. Renault sold off the team to GENII.. Whilst they still have the staff – they FI not have anywhere near the resources.. Unlimited testing rules etc..you gotta understand the difference!

  50. Rach says:

    Reading Stefano’s comments he inferred that this isn’t going to be a change as Ferrari has always backed 2 drivers and then asked the one behind to support.

    This made me think about Austin where Ferrari deliberately broke the seal on Felipes gearbox or even this year in Melbourne where at the first race Alonso whilst behind Felipe was allowed to use the undercut on his teammate.

    The problem here is that Ferrari have allowed this to happen to support Alonso and are now taking it away as Kimi will not be expected to be treated like that.

    Alonso must definitely feel something has been tweaked!

    1. James Allen says:

      He would say that but look at Germany 2010, that was early in the season for a team order

      1. Anne says:

        And Malasya 2013 was even earlier. And two teams gave team orders. And both probably have good reason to do it. In the end Hamilton is ahead of Rosberg and Vettel is ahead of Webber. But that team order is not the reason. Vettel didn´t obey. But if he had obeyed that would not have changed his current position. Things flow according to their natural and expected way.

      2. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

        The problem for Massa in Germany 10 was again he could have pulled away with a clear track (like Monza ’12) but again Alonso caught him lap after lap and the issue was forced by Red Bull as Massa was holding up Alonso with Seb then closing on them both.

        It was not like a clear Ferrari 1-2 win then they swapped positions. The embarrassing thing was Ferrari having to pretend it wasn’t and order afterwards due to the regulations at the time and the way Smedley had apologised to Massa instead of them questioning why Massa couldn’t take the win himself with pace.

        Early I agree but still race 11/19 after which Alonso had 123 points and Massa only 85.

      3. DK says:

        More so when team orders were outlawed in 2010 !

      4. krischar says:

        James

        2010 germany was pretty useless example

        Ferrari did the correct hing, yet they lost the WDC due to operational error come Abu Dhabi 2010

        Massa hardly drove well and helped the team or Alonso in the last 4 seasons. One being germany 2010 and other was austin 2012. However on both scenario Alonso had massie points difference on massa and he was the one who had any realistic chance of winning WDC

        People here show too much kindness for massa and defend massa at any cost. while undermining alonso’s achievement and credibiity

        Webber played the same LAP dog role for vettel over the past 4 seasons. Yet he he did commendable job and helped RBR to win 4 WCC. While in the process he took too many points from vettel WDC rivals as well notably Alonso and lewis

  51. f1dingo says:

    Kimi can’t lose really. Everyone expects alonso to come out on top, all the pressure is on him. Their apparent personalities would also suggest that such a situation will likely cause alonso to put more pressure on himself than kimi would.

  52. proxomos says:

    Raikkonen will be faster than alonso, and alonso wont be able to hack it.

    Kimi is faster over a single lap, and faster in race trim. he just gets bored from time to time.

  53. Sergio says:

    The “big” question is Why Does Raikkonen go to Ferrari instead Red Bull? Red Bull is so powerful($$$) as The Scuderia but they failed to get an agreement with the Finn. WHY?

    1. Anne says:

      Helmut Marko, Toro Rosso, RB Academy. They wanted to show that they can produce good drivers and not just Vettel. However I´m not so sure Ricciardo is one of them. Alguersuari would have made more sense than Ricciardo.But Alguersuari always had bad realationship with Helmut Marko. And I don´t think he could have a good relationship with Vettel either

      1. Sergio says:

        Well, if you were right, I don’t see the reasons to negotiate with “Vettel’s best friend in the paddock”. Red Bull and Kimmi Raikkonen didn’t reach an agreement and I ask WHY?

      2. Anne says:

        We can only guess or speculate about why Kimi didn´t sign for RB. Neither RB nor Kimi have given us an explanation. RB always said they have two contenders, Kimi and Ricciardo. A lot of people also ask why Vergne was never a third contender.

    2. Omar says:

      Redbull did not hire Kimi because Kimi would have been faster then Vettel, which mean Vettel would be exposed for what he truly is, a very good driver in a great car, where as Kimi Lewis and Fernando are great drivers

      1. Kirk says:

        If that would have happened, why Red Bull would be affected? I mean, if they found a better driver, do you think that a business man like RB’s owner would care if Vettel ego goes down?. I don’t think so. I’m Kimi’s fan but it is to difficult to me to say if he is better or worse than Vettel, hope he is better.

    3. Glennb says:

      Maybe RBR put in a low tender for him, with the attitude of “if we get him for cheap, we get him, if not, meh….”
      Off topic, wasn’t it Senna who said he would drive the ’93 Williams for free? Such was his desire to be in the best car available.

  54. 180110 says:

    I have loved how there hasnt been a single mention of Seb Vettel this past couple of days. Just a general happy feeling..

    1. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Multi 21, Boooooooo.

      There I’ve mentioned Seb for you ;)

  55. Matt W says:

    People are expecting fireworks, who from? It won’t be from Kimi’s end as he doesn’t like speaking to the press much, let alone giving away how he feels about the team/team mates. He wouldn’t want the publicity nor really care.

    The only person I can see kicking off is Alonso, but he will be well aware that Ferrari won’t hesitate to drop him, particularly now they have another driver who could carry the team in his absence.

    I’d like to see Alonso handle this one well and go up against Kimi on an equal footing. In my opinion it doesn’t diminish either driver if one beats the other. Hamilton beat Alonso (technically) but both drivers were enhanced in my opinion for having a good/tense battle.

    Likewise, Hamilton and Button swapped season wins during their time together, and again both guys gained respect for taking each other on. Should Kimi beat Alonso, or Alonso beat Kimi I don’t think the loser will lose face because both have titles to their name and have proved their worth already. Even if you look at the most explosive example of Senna vs Prost, I’d find it very hard to argue that one really upstaged the other even though I guess if you got really technical it was Senna that won the battle (won in 88 and suffered a horrific DQ in one of the biggest fixes in world sport in 89).

    It is only the biased or childish fans that will be claiming bragging rights.

    1. Marpabel says:

      Brilliant!

    2. Kirk says:

      Agree, I couldn’t say it better

  56. clyde says:

    Even though I like kimis cool off beat style
    I think hes getting on a bit and is no longer as quick as he used to be especially in qualifying ….in fact in the last two years he has been beaten by his teammate often enough in terms of outright pace though not consistency.
    I dont think Alonso is too worried he will have the edge by a fair margin. :-)

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Have you seen his qualifying record against Grosjean this year?

      1. clyde says:

        Pl read my post it says “in the last two years he has been beaten by his teammate often enough in terms of outright pace”
        I was merely making a point that a younger Kimi would NEVER have been beaten by Grojean

  57. Eff1osaurus says:

    all this “two roosters in the same house” talk…

    does anyone remember the late ’80′s when one Ayrton Senna was drafted with Honda into what had essentially been Alain Prost’s team? I dare say we have yet to see racing and iner-team rivalry on that scale – but look what it did to Mclaren..clean sweeps in 88 and 89, best car in the MP4/4…if history repeats itself, Ferrari have done a golden deal here…

    IF Ferrari pull a rabbit (there’s those bunnies again!) and build a good car, the i’m certain that KR and FA will drive the wheels off it. KR wants that 2nd title, FA wants a title in a Fezza, and Fezza wants the WCC. This may just be a prelude to an awesome season…

    I reckon KR is driving better than ever, he’s still stellar in terms of speed, and i think JA’s move to Ferrari may have been what brought Kimi back to the fold – Lotus have gone backwards since JA left.FA’s shares seem to have diminished a bit, and one wonders what he’ll be thinking knowing that his new team mate already has a WDC with Ferrari…

    Roll on 2014…at last there’ll be some REAL action between two of the best.

    1. Darren says:

      Thank you, people always go on about Prost and Senna and how it was a complete nightmare! But it wasn’t though was it, as you say they basically swept two seasons clean!

  58. Dmitry says:

    He-he, next season is going to be something)
    If Kimi keeps the same (or even greater) motivation next year then I completely agree with the pro-Kimi side of fans – he will be a very hard teammate for Fernando.
    By my own rankings Kimi is second fastest only to Hamilton and Vettel, but don’t have emotion-related performance drops like the former and can easily cope with pressure on track unlike the latter… and I anticipate Fernando to learn it the hard way (unfortunately for him).

  59. Yago says:

    I’m going to do a prediction:

    By the end of 2014, people in this site will be saying Kimi has lost his speed doe to his age, his motivation has go down, and Ferrari are developing a custom car to Alonso.

    There will be even people who will be mad because Ferrari signed a star driver just to not let him race and play second fiddle to Alonso.

    When I see one post with any of these statements I will post this as replay! xD

    1. krischar says:

      Very true

      I await for the moment as well to know what excuses will be given in favour of Kimi when he was easily toppled by Fernando the GENIUS

      I have nothing against Kimi, In all honesty i am quite excited to see how this partnership will turn out at Ferrari. This is clearly a step forward from the massa-alonso combination

      I have nothing against massa well, had any other drove alongside massa for the last seasons instead of fernando. The pitcure might have totally different and massa would have easily held his seat for at least another 2 seasons

    2. Charlie says:

      I actually think this is quite likely. Alonso is a competitive man. He’ll be working out the angles now…

      Still, there’s about 30% chance that things will fall into place for Kimbo and we’ll have some fun.

    3. nenad says:

      You must be a very patient person.

    4. Benalf says:

      I would say that right after Monza ’14 Fernando will call a press conference to say bye to Ferrari and moving somewhere else, most likely Macca while Kimi, a few days later will tweet that he’s dumping Ferrari for underperforming car and turbo. Kimi will probably move too to Macca and at the end of 2015 Macca will do what Dennis and the Hamilton’s were unable to achieve: win both WC. As for RBR, I also predict they won’t be a dominating as during this last 4 years. Ferrari, at the best will be the 3rd-4th car on the grid, maybe worst

      1. Yago says:

        I think it’s easier for my prediction to materialize than yours xD
        But who knows…

  60. Craig Baker says:

    Roman Grojean has to be feeling like the top bunny at Lotus for next year.

    1. Sebee says:

      Positions quickly reverse in F1.

  61. Zhenya says:

    Extremely sophisticated humor by Lotus.

  62. Kenneth M'Boy says:

    2 lousy qualifiers but 2 awesome racers. Looks like its pole, win and fastest lap again for Vettel in most races in 2014 with Ferrari drivers 2nd and 3rd on the podium. Maybe they’ll win the Constructors? Maybe???

    1. James Allen says:

      Don’t forget Hamilton, he’s not a bad qualifier..

      1. Yago says:

        Nor Alonso… A bit tired of this thing. Thanks god this is going to be clear next year…

      2. Anne says:

        It all will depend on the car. If Ferrari´s car is not as good as RB and Mercedes neither Alonso nor Raikkonen will be able to win many poles and races.

      3. Charlie says:

        He’s SO your pick for world champion next year…

        I’ve been reading your comments :)

      4. clyde says:

        If you consider 2007 Ham/Alonso qualifying head to head was 10/7 also if you factor in Hungary where Alonso was demoted and France where his gearbox failed in qualifying the record was 8/8 also every one knows the entire team was against Alonso for the last four races of the season .
        Whenever it rains during qualifying Alonso is invariably a candidate for pole …. lets face it the Ferrari has been crap since 2009 Alonsos driving has flattered the car they lost the 2010 title due to the teams incompetence and the 2012 title due to bad luck and grojean.
        For a team with the resources of Ferrari to say they cant fix their wind tunnel correlation issues for four years is laughable so he isn’t as bad a qualifier as people make him out to be just look at Massas qualifying performance in the same car. :-)

      5. krischar says:

        Brilliant post Clyde

        I Agree +10000000

        Too many atni-alonso fans here simply point 2007 as example as many times as they can. Times have changed. Everybody has moved on from 2007 except Anti-alonso fans or [mod]. Heck even Lewis confessed the fact Alonso is quick and he likes racing with him.

        “For a team with the resources of Ferrari to say they cant fix their wind tunnel correlation issues for four years is laughable ” – You have hit the nail on it’s head

        Ferrari has been crap since 2009 Alonsos driving has flattered the car they lost the 2010 title due to the teams incompetence and the 2012 title due to bad luck and grojean – Totally true and makes plenty of sense

        I could have not put this any better than you did

      6. Yago says:

        @clyde,

        It was 9-8 for Hamilton, not 10-7. And there are Hungary and France as you point out. But you are forgetteing several things:
        1-Extra laps: Hamilton got every single extra lap available in qualifying. That was worth a tenth more or less on average.
        2-Harder compounds: There were several qualifyings where Alonso had to qualify with the harder compound, which was slower, as he sometimes destroyed the softer even before the lap was completed. This happened to several drivers that overcame the change from Michelin to Bridgestone (Alonso, Kimi and Kubica as examples).
        3-Wrong pressures: At Japan and China Alonso’s tyres where underinflated, with wrong pressures. It is still a mystery how that happened…
        4-Interlagos:Alonso’s lack of speed at interlagos (the whole weekend), a place where he excels, whas very interesting too…

        It is true that Hamilton was a rookie, but those cars where quite easy to drive, with traction control and very solid Bridgestone tires. Hamilton had driven McLaren cars and Bridgestone tyres since way before than Alonso. And then it was quite obvious 2007 was the worst performance from Alonso since he become world champion. He was surprised by Hamilton’s speed, true, but the important thing is that he was at war with his own team!!

        Hence judging Alonso’s capabilities based on 2007 is a big error, unless you can see the whole picture!

  63. Anant Deboor says:

    The most intriguing, interesting question to me is ‘who in Ferrari would’ve first brought up the possibility of getting Kimi back’. LDM? After his ‘two roosters’ comment? Hmmm
    SD? Knowing how Luca thinks? Hmmmm
    Has James Allison already played a master-card?

    Would love to know.

    1. Elie says:

      Monte: “What do you need to make the 2014 car competitive very quickly”
      James Allison :- “well your considering letting Felipe go and Kimi is talking to Red Bull what do you think…”

      You can bet your bottom dollar on it !

    2. Charlie says:

      …or an OP-Pohjola credit card?

    3. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

      Remember, James Allison has probably worked with Alonso just as long, if not longer than Kimi… doubt he’ll have a favourite side to the garage.

      1. Yago says:

        In fact, if I’m right, James Allison has worked at least four years with Alonso (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009). On the other hand, by the end of this season Kimi will have worked for just two years with him (2012, 2013).

  64. Marc says:

    After Massa, will the great Rob Smedley be working with Kimi? Hope so…

    1. Karim says:

      Would be an interesting combo…. Marc bist du’s??? ;)

    2. Anne says:

      I read that Smedley might go to Williams. It´s only a rumor but who knows

  65. Panagiotis says:

    The best duo in f1, one driver substitutes the other, one is fast the other consistent, the one talks a lot the other doesn’t say a word, the one is royalist the other heavy metal, it will work out perfectly. Seriously, it would be perfect for ferrari money-wise, racewise, media wise, perfect compination. If they get it right with the car then it would be perfect for f1 too. Imagine kimi get it again……

  66. Marc says:

    1) This is such positive & constructive pressure within the team to reach excellence.

    2) Ferrari, the once booed team, are now playing the complete opposite strategy, leaving RBR in No1/No2 mode, how ironic.

    3) Alonso, enormous as he is as a driver, is petulant and this move is a safe bet for Ferrari after Alonso’s bad habits surfaced again going to see RBR.

    4) But Alonso is also highly intelligent and could relish the opportunity to have more pressure on him to change attitude and put positive energy to surpass himself and lead constructively.

    Never let your star salesman feel he’s the only one generating revenue… so to speak :-)

  67. Karim says:

    There is a little too much hype about the driver line up to be honest. I am a big Kimi fan, being half Finnish myself, but I am not stupid enough to know that Alonso may have the upper hand regardless.

    In any case, what concerns me more is that Mercedes are already on schedule with their turbo 25000 RPM engine development- and will be miles ahead of their competitors by the time March next year begins, plus they have Paddy Lowe now on board- and who knows if Ross will stay as well. Ferrari, I feel will struggle with reliability problems the way it looks, I am not worried about their aero package so much- they have a good design and engineering team on board as it is now, it is whether their engines will be suited to these regulations. Ferraris aren’t know for developing turbo engines, even if they have done so in the past in F1- it goes against their religion- you see that in their road cars……it is a technology that they are not comfortable with. So talking about Kimi/Alonso pairing is futile if their engines don’t deliver

    1. Sebastian says:

      When Ferrari introduced KERS in 2009 it was not as lightweight as the Merc version, but pretty reliable. I am not too sure they will have reliability issues.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      You see that in their road cars, with the exception of two of the greatest ever, the 288 GTO and the F40.
      Maybe something that is usually forgotten, Ferrari has access to the Fiat group, which included Fiat , Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Maserati, Chyrsler, Dodge and Jeep
      Within those brands is plenty of cutting edge turbo technology.

  68. Quade says:

    Ha! Rabbit porn!

    1. Chromatic says:

      Should have been two roosters, imho.

  69. Ronnie says:

    Ferrari now has two mediocre qualifiers who race brilliantly. Sundays are going to be exciting next year.

  70. Rich B says:

    correct choice right now but signing hulk might’ve been better for the future.

    I hope hulk goes to lotus, maybe McLaren in 2015 replacing perez (wish he could now)

  71. Valentino from montreal says:

    Better than Irvine and Barrichello ?

    Lol … Massa was indeed better than those 2 in the subservient context = Alonso’s moon-like Ego !

  72. Richard M says:

    Apologies if already posted – but what now for Rob Smedley… surely one of the better race engineers – Yorkshire grit could be a good combo with Kimi’s emotionless outlook?

  73. dstaisey says:

    I really like “hot-headed and a cold-blooded”.. Who do you think will prevail?
    KR

  74. Bikram says:

    I think James its weird that Vettel & Kimi have similar career starts with one year in a small team they both showed promises and were promoted /hired by big teams respectively. Still kimi & vettel both had average first year against their respective team mates( david & mark ). I have a feeling that they both are overated during their careers at Mclaren & seb at red bull. Because kimi and vettel drove with two men at the twilight of their career & consistently beat both in their second year onwards as team mates.

    I am a Alonso fan and respect hamilton for his one lap pace but have a feeling that Alonso was always hassled by Truli one lap wonder in his prime & hamilton was tested by alonso in 2007 & now 2013 by rosberg. I have a feeling these two guys have been tested against best with their raw pace & kimmi/vettel are not. so do you feel it is true to say that vettel’s stats as qualifier have any credits given he will beat the great senna’s record as best qualifier in a season or two?? As senna was up against best in better cars & vettel’s always driven newsy’s cars???

    1. Harshad says:

      So you forgot that kimi and Montoya were partners for a couple of years at McLaren?
      Montoya wasn’t exactly slow….

    2. Yago says:

      There is something in what you say. A lot of people thought Kimi was the fastest man on Earth during his McLaren years. Then he went to Ferrari and oops, he wasn’t faster than Massa.

      Vettel is for many the fastest driver on Earth now, let’s see if they do not have to change their minds in a few years time… These people that think so have to remember how Kimi’s image as the supersonic driver transformed when he joined Ferrari, and be carefull in their assertions. Funnily enough, both Kimi and Vettel where regarded fastest drivers on Earth while driving Newey cars…

      1. paul murray says:

        OOPS you seem to have forgot, Kimi’s first race
        in 07 put it on pole won the race and the WDC

      2. Tim says:

        He won the WDC at the first race! Wow, he really was quick ;-)

    3. AK says:

      Vettel outqualified Webber 17 – 2 in their first year together. Thats hardly average.

      Alonso was saved by Briatore in 2004 when he removed Trulli to protect Alonsos #1 status for the next year because he knew he had a championship capable car on his hands for 2005 and didnt want his guys CV blemished by Trulli. I can remember a talk show with Briatore as guest in 2004 where he was gloating (to the utter disbelief of the audience) over his belief that then upstart Alonso would beat 7 times WDC Schumacher in the championship in 2005. Trulli just had to go because he was as capable as Alonso to win the titles in 2005 & 2006 with Renault but he wouldnt play second fiddle like Fisico and Briatore bought the spanish TV rights for F1 on the cheap after all, not the italian ones. F1 was a niche sport in Spain back then and Briatore was a cunning businessman who saw an opportunity (underdeveloped market + 1. spanish stardriver winning WDC = lots of money). If Trulli were spanish and Alonso italian, Trulli could be a 2 times WDC now. And when Alonso met Hamilton at McLaren he was no longer the chosen one because Hamilton was much more important for McLaren´s and F1´s development as a whole far beyond the small spanish TV market. Thats how it goes sometimes.

    4. Kimi4WDC says:

      Or that gave them the greatest insight your can get at that young age. Hence they are so good?

    5. Mandice says:

      kimi has been tested with Montoya….the guy that hassled michael schumacher in his prime.

      Kimi also got pole while fuelling 10 laps more fuel than Montoya and everyone else….

      Lewis, Vettel and Fernando has never achieved such feet.

  75. Tushar Verma says:

    From Alonso perspective it will be a new challenge to him.

    He has never joined a team knowing that he will face challenge from other side of the garrage (Hamilton was a rookie and was not expected to challange Alonso).

    For past few years he has performed at a very high level but Massa was a clear number 2.

    Now coming to Number 2 debate it is not just limited to team orders, but number 1 gets vast preferences like strategy calls, development of the car, best engineers etc and what I believe Alonso got 100% of that in the Ferrari.

    But now with Kimi coming expect that 100% to come down to atleast 60%.

    Now with 60% of team support I doubt Alonso will perform at same level which he has performed in the year 2012.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      I’d say 50%

  76. cartweel says:

    To me- this sets up quite the Ferrari/Merc battle next year. Vettel is great- but in a new car, new rules and more of an Engine formula, having Merc$$$/Hamilton/Rosberg or Ferrari$$/Kimi/Alonso on my bench would be above Redbull$/Newey/Vettel and anything the the other teams would be fielding. Next season will be pretty interesting…

  77. roberto marquez says:

    If the 2014 Ferrari is not a top contender I foresee Kimi having some tantrums.Second parts are never good and Ferrari is taking a big risk here. There is a joke that goes “A man finds his wife with his best friend doing bunny staff on his sofa. He then goes and sells the sofa ” I think Ferrari already sold one sofa for Kimi ,I hope they do not have to sell it again.

  78. Neil Jenney says:

    I couldn’t answer the poll with a simple yes or no. I’m glad that Kimi is at Ferrari because of the drama that will inevitably unfold, but I’m disappointed Nico Hulkenberg didn’t get his opportunity. I would have been much happier if Nico had been selected at Ferrari and Kimi ended up at Red Bull, so we could see a real challenge to Vettel and answer some of those car/driver questions.

    1. Omar says:

      I fully agree with you Neil, I feel that Vettel is the one that needs the real challenge as we already know how good Fernando is. Kimi should have been partnered with Seb

  79. M says:

    Raikkonen IS NOT COnsistant he proved that when last at Ferrari and he is now the same at LOtus

    1. Rekha says:

      Looks like you are a not so consistent in using right case while typing.

      Aa for Kimi he has proved himself how consitent he is with 27 consecutive point scoring finishes.

  80. Witan says:

    I am sure Montezemelo thinks he has pulled of a great trick by spending ooodles of cash.

    He has a fast driver, put his current star driver in his place and bought insurance in case Alonso gets so fed up he does what he did at McLaren.

    But in doing so he has introduced a whole new set of staff management problems to the team, not only at driver level but at the two sides of the garage where intra-team rivalry can be quite intense if muted in public.

    I all reinforces the view of Ferrari management as rather brash, seeking quick fixes and big images.

    But next year, and the run up during the current year, is going to need careful, clever, consistent, co-operative work. Buying Allison won’t achieve that alone, nor will buying Kimi,

    But I do suspect the Montezemelo thinks that he is well on the way if not there with these appointments and his autocratic attitude.

    I suspect that things will, as they say, fall apart fairly soon in the new season.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      If the powerplant is way behind the others Ferrari might have 2 DNQs in the first race.

    2. clyde says:

      well said :-)

  81. Elie says:

    What I think many posters are failing to see its not just outright speed next year it will be many, many things:- Car Packaging,reliability and really really importantly how well the systems integrate- Electronics,Turbo Engines with new Hybrids, 8 speed boxes, tyres. Don’t be surprised if Mclaren are back in front from the very first race. Maybe even Torro Rosso..with James Key full new design.Next year it will be who gets on top of the many issues the engineers will undoubtedly have very early..

    I think the single biggest reason Kimi is perfect for Ferrari is that they know him- they now how incredibly quick he can feel a car and Allison would be very aware of this.. It should not be lost how quickly he conquered the E20 last year and was immediately fighting the bulls at Bahrain in a completely new era for him -tyres etc. This is someone with fantastic feel for a car and getting it working how it should. I realise designers and engineers build cars but it still surprises that a Ferrari that was a very good car at Melbourne this year and by both Fernando/ Felipe saying it was 1000 times better than last year- then by mid season they were struggling whereas last year it was the other way round ..its almost like the link between the track and the factory is not working and a large part of that will be how well James Allison ties these things in. It will be enormously beneficial coming from a smaller team like Lotus how efficient they get things working from the design team to the car and vice versa- I think this will be the biggest benefit from Allison and Raikkonen- surely everyone including Alonso will benefit dramatically from this new perspective.

    1. Sebastian says:

      I get the feeling that they have suffered a lot from the windtunnel issues. They have complained a lot over upgrades not delivering on track.

  82. Jenks says:

    Ricciardo needs to hit the ground running next year.

  83. Digby says:

    I dom’t care whether he drives for Ferrari or some other team. Makes no difference. He will do his best wherever he is. Thats all there is to it.

  84. Zombie says:

    Lee Mckenzie interviewed Michael Schumacher on the eve of Monza, and i must say it was a great interview. Michael talks about the amount of work that went into this year’s Mercedes, the effort the team has put in behind the doors in previous years to make the car what it is today. When asked if he gets any credit for the development, he steadfastly refused to take any credit, and said it was “team effort”. He also mentioned how grateful he was that his work was appreciated by his team during a very difficult final year of his career.

    Its then that Lee Mckenzie brings up the topic of Alonso criticizing Ferrari. In an instant Michael’s body language turns stiff, and eyes light up as if someone insulted his family ! His response was spot one ” You win as a team, and you lose as a team. People work their nuts off to make a car competitive. And a driver is a part of that mechanism , so he too is partly responsible for any failures”. Pure class !

    Although the man is long retired now, his opinion on work ethics and team spirit is something that needs to be extracted and preserved.

  85. fox says:

    Alonso will beat Travel Companyon. Then he will leave Ferrari for McLaren, to repeat the history.

    But it is another question- who will expose Vettel and when?

  86. David Hope says:

    Does it even matter if it technically fails or succeeds in the sense of the driver’s championship.

    Or if they have a big fall out.

    I always find it strange when people say drama is bad for a team. No it isn’t, it means that everyone is watching the team, papers are writing about them, excitement is generated.

    A duel for this does way more for sponsors exposure and team exposure than a guy winning by himself at the front

  87. George G says:

    In reference to Massa, being the best number 2 I disagree.
    When Barrichello was there they conquered more WCC than with Massa or Irvine. Also Barri won the WCC for Brawn F1.

  88. 0z1 says:

    Kimi will do what Kimi does best not giving a monkeys…and we have Alonso wella he has history he will throw his toys out of his pram

  89. Franco says:

    Hi James
    Any news if he will be released from lotus early or will he be joining in Jan 2014.

    On a positive note looking forward to not having to hear that Ferrari have a no1 and no2 driver.

  90. AK says:

    Kimi is too old and probable does not belong to the group of fastest 33 % of drivers anymore. I am 100 % sure that Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Rosberg and maybe even Maldonado, Grosjean (with equal backing) and Bianchi are faster.

    This is basically an admission by Ferrari that Alonso is unlikely to beat Hamilton and Vettel next year and that Ferrari aims for the constructors championship instead with a stronger #2 who will take more points off Alonso. Judging by sheer entertainment standards this pairing Ferrari is undertaking will naturally be the highlight within this so called golden generation of F1 Drivers. Nevertheless it equally signals the end of it, because neither driver will get outright #1 status ever again, meaning no more championships and in 2 years from now Alonso will also be too old to warrant #1 status at Ferrari or any other top 3 team.

    With Schumi, Kubica, Webber gone and by the end of 2015 Alonso, Kimi, Button, Massa gone or past their best, this leaves Hamilton and particularly Vettel in a similar situation Michael Schumacher was in when one after another the likes of Piquet, Senna, Prost, Mansell, Berger fell by the wayside in the early 1990´s. Also good oportunity for someone like Hulkenberg or Ricciardo to step up and help fill the vacuum.

    1. Sri says:

      Just read your first para, I wondered why you eliminated my name in the list of drivers better than Kimi.

    2. Kirk says:

      I think you are wrong in your first paragraph, the prove is that you mentioned Grosjean the one who Kimi has defeated in the same car.

  91. Rachael says:

    I like Kimi, so it’s good that he landed a good drive.

    But, don’t get too carried away predicting volcanic eruptions. It all depends on the car.

    In 1990 Ferrari created a super-team; Nigel Mansell & Alain Prost in a car designed by John Barnard.

    However, Senna and McLaren ran away with both championships.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Did they?
      Run away, as in dominate?
      Could that explain why Senna slammed into Prost to secure the WDC?

  92. Michael S says:

    This is all fun chatter. However, the pressure is on Ferrari for the time being 100% If they come up with a bad engine and Kimi and Alonso are fighting for 6th place it will be a HUGE let down. They must produce a car worthy of chasing the title for 2014 to be a cracking year.

  93. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    I think people are underestimating Kimi. He has never lacked talent or speed. The key has always been motivation. By moving to either RB or Ferrari, Kimi has given himself a challenge. By staying at Lotus, financial or technical challenges aside, it would have been more of the same. A motivated Kimi is a threat for the title!

    I think Sig. Montezemolo has been clever in picking Kimi over Hulk. As a number of posters have said, next year will be a battle of reliability rather than necessarily outright pace. Particularly so at the beginning of the season, where an early lead (or deficit) can be crucial for the later part of the season where performance between cars narrows. Therefore, Ferrari have given themselves the best shot by having two point scoring cars. Mercedes have set this trend and it seems to be working for them in 2013.

    1. Elie says:

      You hit the nail on the head both times

  94. Jack says:

    Really disapointed with this decison. Hulk needed to go to Ferrari for the future of F1. All this can give Ferrari is a better shot at constructors championship. Ricciardo is an unknown (but has the ability to put his car on pole) and we know what you get with Vettel. Hulk has the potentional to be a world champion. He will though get a top drive eventually, just deserves one sooner.

  95. Jonathan says:

    Buying in the top drivers doesn’t always pay. Neither Alonso nor Kimi will improve. But Hulkenburg, Ricciardo, Di Resta perhaps have potential to be better than either of them. Vettel is already clearly better than Alonso or Kimi and this season has the better car. perhaps we should ‘seed’ drivers and not include DNFs unless the driver caused the crash.

    1. Omar says:

      I would say that Vettel has a far superior car to Kimi and Fernando, but talent wise I dont think so, at best he is 4th best driver on the grid behind Lewis Fernando and Kimi (in no particular order)

    2. John M says:

      “Hulkenburg, Ricciardo, Di Resta perhaps have potential to be better than either of them”

      Nah.

  96. EA says:

    I voted yes. Great idea. 3 years too late though… but better late than never.

    Alonso said last yr if Ferrari wanted to replace Massa it should be for someone better than Massa. So there you go.

    Kimi would take more pts off Alonso’s rivals than Massa. And viceversa. Which is how Webber had been helping Vettel more than Massa helping Alonso.

    Alonso and Kimi should be pretty evenly matched. So no matter who wins the WDC, it will be great to watch. Hopefully they are able to handle the media, because the childish fans and sensationalist haters will try to make a picnic out of everything.

    Forza!

  97. Galletto says:

    I think Alonso has understood that he has nowhere to go if he leaves Ferrari.
    He will have to be happy with what ever there will be on his plate.

  98. proud Finn says:

    well,this gutsy move puts ferrari on the front row again, if not as the best car, but as the most interesting teaming…so marketing is going to have a ball, if they are allowed some slack…and remembering that this quiet Finn is popular because of…him being himself…
    So the question is, do they know at Ferrari that they don´t have a good enough car to win, and using this only to take away focus from car, for sure the battle RAI/ALO will be a main interest next year, as it will probably be for the rest of this season, whatever any of them do on (and RAI also off) the track will be compaired to anything they have done/do/will do

    so, as a RAI fan I only have one thing to do, use all my magic charms and hope he will do a good job…
    well, no, i don´t use my charm for that, i know he will do it…
    so here is for him cleaning off ALO, might need some help, this is difficult to say, but ALO is NOT the worst driver on the grid!!!

    anyway, my feelings ( I know, nobody gives a s..t)is for the first time in many years really positive about next season

  99. Brix says:

    1. Rabbit on tweeter means Kimi screwed lotus.
    2. Ferarri getting Kimi means montezemolo wants to push alonzo out buy getting a driver who does not want to be number 2. By doing this, montezemolo will not look like he did not fires alonzo and will not pay the remainder of the contract.

  100. Retep says:

    I actually think they will complement each other as drivers. Both very different driving styles, but both clean and fair on the track (or am I just an eternal optomist). I think Ferrari called RBR’s bluff by hiring Kimi, I am sure RBR would have thought Ferrari will play conservative as per usual and stick with a defined #2 driver. Let’s hope two #1′s don’t add up to a #2 finishing position next year – as the Vettel/RBR run must end for all our sanity!

  101. forzaminardi says:

    Never mind “Kimi back to Ferrari”, I can’t let “Massa was better than Barrichello” pass! Ridiculous! It’s easy to think because Massa had one good season that he was at any point, in any way, a genuinely ‘top’ driver. Clinical trials have many times proven that Barrichello is 307.8% better than Massa.

  102. Rednas says:

    Kimi has nothing to lose. Most people seem to think (I don’t agree with this at all) that Alonso will have the upper hand on Raikkonen. If Alonso does, everyone will probably say “we said so”. But if Kimi beats Alonso regularly, I’m curious to see what the people will say about Kimi’s performance. He’s still underrated. He is absolutely on par with Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton.

  103. Wade Parmino says:

    Regarding the testing. Will it be free and unlimited for the teams as it once was? or will it be policed and governed by the FIA?

  104. Warren G says:

    A lot of comments about Allison being the key to Raikkonen joining Ferrari, as if they have some fantastic bond together. Allison has already worked with Alonso during 05 and 06 and before that was part of the team at Ferrari during the Schumi years. He’s no up and comer as such, he’s already well established and it’s good to have him back at in Red.

    I think, if there’s any connection whatsoever to Allison, it has more to do with him leaving Lotus than anything else and them clearly not having a suitable replacement.

    I also wonder if this signing is a positive indication that the Ferrari will be good next year or do they feel on the backfoot and need two top shelf drivers to compete?

  105. K says:

    The main thing I got from the reactions all over internet was that Alonso supporters are against it.

    Says enough.

    The ‘journalists’ (I use that term generously in many cases…) who are known to be Alonso fans are heavily against it too.

    Says enough.

    I think all the ones being against this are scared about what probably will happen: Kimi will beat Alonso and his entire reputation will count for nothing anymore.

    And I think that is also what Ferrari want…they really do not care about a driver that thinks he is above the team and like Alonso showed multiple times, especially the last few months. Luca wants Alonso gone, it is very obvious but there is a contract. So he gets in Kimi to do the job by swallowing his own pride (which is a huge thing for Italians, especially Italian leaders).

  106. Paul says:

    Good article. So good in fact that Sky pretty much replicated it within a couple of hours of you posting it!!

    http://www1.skysports.com/formula-1/news/12474/8917340/fleet-street-have-their-say-on-kimi-raikkonens-move-to-ferrari-in-2014

  107. John Turner says:

    Whatever happens it has the makings of an Interesting Season. We need one Team to have Internal Struggles now that Red won’t have to deal with Seb and mark!

  108. Nick says:

    I’m really glad Kimi has got this drive.

    Can anyone comment though on how Kimi and Fernando’s driving styles compare?

    As next years car design will have already begun, will the design favour Alonso more than Kimi? Or would they build a neutral car to favour them equally? I think this could have a big impact on who beats who.

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Obviously the car will change completely in 2014 and none of them ever raced turbo charge powered cars. So it is pretty much blank page.

  109. João Ornelas says:

    1. He knows what he’s doing…

    2. Good to see Domenicali impose his choice.

    3. Alonso + Fry + Allison + Raikkonen = no more excuses.

    4. Although a first since the 50′s, it’s more like the 80′s, with Pironi/Villeneuve: 2 top guys, 2 Ferraris pushing hard!

    5. It’s going to be FUN!

    1. KARTRACE says:

      Schechter beat Villeneuve in 1979 to the drivers title, so it is more end of the seventies. People tend to forget things.

  110. Luca says:

    Only one thing is certain: if Ferrari haul out the second-best car on the paddock again next year, it could turn out to be a long, hard season for the fans & Stefano Domenicali. But if the new toy comes out of the box well, hold on to your hats, be they tin or any other type.

    But great piece & fun debate.

  111. Eff1osaurus says:

    KR is driving better now than before he went to play in the mud with WRC.He should have had 3-4 titles by now, 2 with Mclaren, and, one could argue, another with Ferrari

    FA is rated as the best in F1, and had Ferrari not blinked in 2010, or Grosjean turned La Source in a carbon scrap heap in 2012, may have been 4 time Champion.

    These two are going to be quite entertaining…

    I agree with the comments of those that say that KR’s signing is possibly an imposed exit strategy for FA…if KR beats him consistently, he’ll start throwing tantrums…and will leave without having to be fired and paid the balance of the contract.

    I wonder what Il Commendatore would have said about these two…Enzo loved a proper race driver.

    When last did we have such a fiery pairing…Prost/Senna, Villeneuve/Pironi, Mansell/Prost…it’s been years when we’ve had two highly rated drivers in the same car with the probability of fireworks such as we have now…

    Lets just hope that 1.6 V6 turbo washing machine is powerful and reliable. As to why i call it a washing machine…i’m old school, yearn back to the days of the classic flat-12 Ferraris or the howling V12s, or that lovely sound of the V10′s…

    a downsized engine sounds like a bee farting in a pipe…but, such is the way of progress…

  112. i like Raikkonen but he is very elegant and cold like the say when Massa was in the hospital he did not make any attempt to visit him or call or text him he had no respect for him and i hope MASA as no respect for him if hr goes with Lotus,

  113. John M says:

    “The Mail also draws attention to the humourous reaction of Lotus F1 Team to Raikkonen’s departure on its Twitter account. With an image of two rabbits mating it implies either that Raikkonen has treated them roughly (although team boss Erid [sic] Boullier says there are no hard feelings) or that Raikkonen is in for a tough time at Ferrari with Alonso…”

    *HUGE FACEPALM*

    It’s actually hilarious how many people don’t get the tweet and accompanying image.

    Lotus were saying that it HURTS to lose Kimi (as he’s their star driver) and the image is symbolic of Lotus feeling BUMMED/SCREWED… PAINFULLY.

    It really is that simple.

    It’s actually a bit depressing that so many people just didn’t get the tweet. Lotus love Kimi. They’re not having a pop at him or anything like that.

    I thought the tweet was absolutely hilarious. One of the my favourite tweets of all time, in fact.

  114. CanadaGP says:

    It will be interesting to see what Mclaren does for 2015.
    I think Vettel, Alonso, Kimi and Lewis are all already signed up for that year.
    Macca will struggle in 2014 being a non-works team engine wise, following a really bad 2013.
    Honda coming aboard in 2015 means they will want to start on the right foot but the Big 4 drivers are all signed up, and I don’t see any future stars in the horizon except perhaps for the Hulk.

    1. Phil says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Alonso back at McLaren in 2015 or 2016.

  115. Paige says:

    I’m starting to get the sense of a real changing of the guard at Ferrari.

    They just brought in James Allison as their technical director to develp the car. It seems like they are giving him basically Adrian Newey power there. They brought in HIS driver- Kimi- which Domenicali admitted yesterday was the case, basically, when he said that it was Allison’s remark on how Kimi drove the team forward with his technical feedback. (Not to mention it’s very clear that Allison thinks an amazing amount of Kimi as a driver). Now they just announced they’ve hired Lotus’ head of aerodynamics, Derk de Beer.

    If I was Alonso, I would be suspecting a massive plot to squeeze me out of my privileged position. It’s pretty clear who Allison is going to be listening to when it comes to technical feedback, and it’s not him.

    1. Sami says:

      Excellent analysis Paige. It looks like there is a very rough ride ahead for Fernando…

      1. Goob says:

        Alonso’s goose has been cooked…

        Dirty politics can only take you so far…

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I think the truth may be slightly different. Allison has worked with Alonso for four seasons, 05,06,08 & 09. He knows his qualities. He will also have been dismayed with Massa and made it clear that Kimi and Alonso would work. We’ll see

  116. schick says:

    Ferrari is under pressure to produce a competitive engine (its strong suite) Allison to develop a quick car (see Lotus) and the drivers to develop said car, Kimi is highly respected for his development work. Forget Kimi’s age, he is super quick ask Grosgean and whilst I’am a big fan of Alonso he will find Kimi a totally different proposition to a damaged Massa, Roll on 2014

  117. hotshoe says:

    How do all of these commentators get inside information about who has better equipment from the same livery. Also @ Krischer your comment, “Webber was far better driver than massa (+1000 times better than massa),” is ludicrous. Webber might be a better driver, but how do you quantify +1000 times better (whatever that means).

  118. Goob says:

    The Kimi move demonstrates just how interesting F1 becomes when the drivers take center stage… just a crying shame we no longer have a F1 where the drivers talent shine through…

    We would never have to put up with Button type drivers who don’t have a shred of talent.

    We could see who is really king of the hill more clearly.

    More mechanical grip – less aero please.

    I think Alonso is overrated… he does not have outright speed and Kimi is easily on par with him, so I see no problems for Kimi.

    They are both behind Hamilton though.

  119. Roger W says:

    It’s not a bad job at 20 euros a minute for the next 2 years….

  120. Lq says:

    Check this video out James, kimi vs alonso, you commentating:

    http://www.gpupdate.net/en/videos/3973/raikkonen-vs-alonso-in-monaco-2005/

    1. Elie says:

      He was quicker then..and….

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