Alonso and Raikkonen discuss helping team mates
Scuderia Ferrari
Alonso and Raikkonen discuss helping team mates
Posted By: James Allen  |  21 Aug 2009   |  5:15 pm GMT  |  79 comments

I went from the Kimi Raikkonen press briefing this afternoon to the Fernando Alonso one and there was an interesting little cameo which came to light.

There were some quotes yesterday from Luca Badoer saying that he had no help from Kimi Raikkonen, but Badoer said sportingly that this was “Kimi’s character.”

This was interesting when taken in conjunction with the quotes from Felipe Massa to the effect that he had not had any kind of get well message from Raikkonen.

Perhaps mindful of this, when he was asked whether he had helped Badoer, who struggled today, Raikkonen said
“No I was busy with my own things, we can talk later if he needs, but for sure he has the help that he needs.”

Alono autog
Alonso was asked the same question about Grosjean. Raikkonen’s attitude to Badoer was mentioned. Alonso took the opportunity to present himself in a different way,
“He knows that I am here for anything he wants. I told him this morning, “Anything you need from me, just come. I am ready to help you in these first days, things with the car, ratios, which gear to take at this corner, how to use this kerb or not use the kerb, these type of things. Anything you want. At the moment he didn’t ask me.”

Racing drivers are selfish animals, particularly the best ones, the true champions. They have to be. In F1 they are obliged to reveal their set-ups and findings to their team mates and sometimes one driver will take another’s set up. But beyond that they try to give away as little as possible.

Despite this, between team mates there can be a warm and a strongly collaborative relationship, as there is between Button and Barrichello for example.

But with Raikkonen and Alonso at the moment the differences between them are very much in the spotlight and both of them must know that. One of them is a Ferrari driver and at some point the other will become one, possibly at the expense of the first.

When team mates are closely matched and competing for the championship, there is less incentive for one to give help to the other. We all know what Alonso can be like when he is pushed to the limit, as he was at McLaren. Ron Dennis famously said of Alonso after the infamous Hungarian Grand Prix of 2007, “Competitive animals know no limits.” Despite the pain Alonso had brought him by revealing emails about the extent of McLaren’s use of Ferrari data, Dennis said this with a tone of almost admiration in his voice.

In the current case the second drivers at Renault and Ferrari pose no threat whatsoever, so it makes sense to help them out and to be seen to. Alonso gets that, Raikkonen doesn’t.

Raikkonen is still shatteringly fast on his day. He has lots of supporters among the public, many of the readers of this blog included. But he hasn’t grasped that Ferrari has a family mentality born out of the extraordinary bond which formed over a long period between Michael Schumacher and the key people there. That teamwork was the backbone of their success.

Schumacher has gone, things evolve, but that “all for one, one for all” ethos hasn’t changed and Raikkonen hasn’t bought in to it.

He doesn’t really help himself and this, as much as anything, is Ferrari’s disappointment with him. This little cameo is a good example of that.

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What about the help Kimi did for Felipe lat season? why didnt you write about it? Does it not fall into your category of “Ferari Family Mentality”?


Just one more view on this, even if Kimi had helped Badoer re setup, it’s no substitute for talent. I was quick to praise Ferrari for giving Badoer a chance, but perhaps I was too quick off the mark. Luca was way off the pace, rusty and never looked like finishing in the top 10. Perhaps this isn’t surprising but I think it proves even if he did have Kimi’s setup and limited knowledge of the Valencia circuit, he wouldn’t have fared much better…


(Translated by She wolf from Planet-F1 forum)

Kimi Räikkönen told surprisingly that Ferrari’s drivers don’t share the data they gather during practice.

Luca Badoer didn’t get in Valencia Kimi’s data and Kimi didn’t get Badoer’s data.

– Usually we operate more or less separately and only when the other one has really big problems we share data. Here I fully concentrate on my own performance during the whole weekend. Usually the data we share has something to do with the tyres but this time we didn’t have any problems with the tyres, Räikkönen told.

MTV3 – Erkki Mustakari


Kimi is THE pure racing driver, probably one of the fastest and most talented ever. He is also honest and straight-talking whilst Alonso is far more political. For me that worth much more than the stupid PR stuff and other rubbish.


Hi James, why you’re always blaming Kimi? Please be a real men and give an answer to this question !


I don’t understand why you are making such a big fuss over this, James. Kimi is Ferrari’s only hope this week end so he is obviously busy finding the best setup possible. Besides, isn’t Schumacher there to tutor Badoer?



I have noticed from your blogs, articles on ITV-F1 and elsewhere that you tend to downplay Kimi a lot. Also, you don’t let go of a chance to demonise Kimi. You are at pains to explain how he is not like everyone out there.

But I cannot fathom why you haven’t been able to understand Kimi’s character. He is like that by nature and he is probably the only one on the paddock who speaks his mind.

I really like your journalism in other areas but when it comes to Kimi I see you are overly critical to the point of being unjust. In the same way you are overly sympathetic with Lewis Hamilton.

I hope I will be able to brush off this article from you and I really hope to follow your journalism in the future.




Can’t help thinking a little too much has been reasd into this. Kimi has received so much stick in the press that you can’t blame the guy for not telling the press what they want to hear. Maybe he’s just more of a private guy, less approachable. There’s nothing wrong with that. He’s paid to drive and, thus far, in two full seasons he’s delivered one title. Regardles of who you have in that car, Ferrari wouldn’t win the title this year so his ratio isn’t bad. The guy should be judged on that, nothing else. It’s fine for Alonso to come across as the nice guy in front of his own fans and press but where was this support for Piquet earlier?

Also, it’s not like Alonso has already been like this. He certainly wasn’t at McLaren and what choice does he have now he’s not contending, but to play the good guy. After all, with a seat at Ferrari assured, it’s not in his interest to act the diva in what is largely a lost season.


Forget the whining from Kimi fans – we all know, and Kimi knows, that his time in F1 is nearly up. Since coming to Ferrari he just hasn’t stepped up to the mark, he was supposed to emulate Schumacher and he simply hasn’t done that. Kimi’s fast, but in modern F1 that is only half the story. No point in being quick if you crash halfway through the race.


“am also grateful to Michael who wanted to be here this weekend. It is important for me to be able to count on his support, especially from the human point of view and of course, also in terms of technical matters.”

So, Luca has his old pal Michael to help him and Kimi is focussed on getting his car to the front of the grid… while still being available to answer any questions if needs be.

I don’t see what the problem is.


Typical Michael Schumacher fanboy’s assessment of Kimi. Anything he says or does is twisted to make him sound like he doesn’t belong at Ferrari.

Tell me this. Why did MS decide to leave Ferrari when he knew Kimi was coming? He wasn’t ready to retire, was he? He’s hung around the Ferrari pitwall for the past 2 years like a bad smell and then offered to fill in for Massa so that he can excuse being beaten by Kimi on lack of time in the cockpit.

The other cold one

Hi James.

A most interesting comparison. I’m not up to speed on Spanish character traits, but having lived in Finland for four years, can say that here, they tell it like it is, in as few words as possible. Otherwise they keep the trap shut. Witness the (infamous?) Brundle interview at Brazil 2006. Brundle: Why weren’t you at the Pele presentation? Räikkönen: I was having a …. Also for more garrulous Finns see Häkkinen at post race interviews. As has been observed by all and sundry, Alonso wants desperately to improve his image to increase his marketability. Kimi isn’t going anywhere (except out?).

A little to one side, but thank you for all of this great insight and indepth intelligent analysis from the frontlines. Long may it continue. I have also been impressed by the vast majority of comments being articulate, well thought out, and to the point. I’m guessing that some of your regulars are probably sitting closer to trackside than the average punter…


“Ferrari has a family mentality born out of the extraordinary bond which formed over a long period between Michael Schumacher and the key people there”.

It is easy to share everything when you know your team mate isn’t allowed to beat you.


I agree…

..and maybe Kimi does not understand that “Family mentality” but I bet he undestands lot about “FAIR” competition.


Possibly not entirely on topic, especially if James is intending posting separately on Luca Badoer.

I have stayed silent on Badoer’s potential as I had no real view, other than the obvious disappointment at Michael Schumacher’s enforced withdrawal. I guess I was unconvinced but I was intrigued by Ferrari’s reported view that Badoer was faster than Marc Gene, who to me was the logical choice for a Spanish race.

Without wanting to crucify the man, I have to say Badoer’s performances in free practice today were less than impressive (displaying a mastery of under-statement, as Murray Walker might have said) and I can only imagine the imminent vitriol from the I-told-you-so brigade. If Ferrari are really serious about 3rd place in the Constructors’ Championship, they do seem to need another solution. So, as much for entertainment as anything else, I’d like to suggest (in order of preference) Anthony Davidson as the most deserving free driver, Takuma Sato as the one who would perhaps enthral the most on track and Jacques Villeneuve as the one who would generate the most column inches – and controversy on fora!


WOW… I think the responses show how amazingly popular Kimi is…. Ferrari gave him trash this year…. last year he had some bad drives, he also could have won more races not do to his own fault(France, Canada, and Japan)


I say Kimi and Alonso in 2010…. the world would prefer that much more than Alonso and Massa

Why would the guy with no title and half the wins keep the job and Kimi have to shove off… Plus Massa makes less, so Ferrari have less to lose dropping his services.

..ooops I forgot he is managed by a Todt and MS is his buddy, sorry!


James, I think you were way wide of the mark on this one. I think Alonso is more alert to ways of making himself sound like the great guy he wants to be thought as, where Kimi doesn’t give a north bound rats south end what people think about him. He’s not a “have a nice day” type of person. But in my opinion, he’d make a more sincere real friend than would Alonso, and were you to be able to ask his real friends what kind of person he is, you’d hear a much different take on Kimi than you wrote about here.

It seems to me that getting the car set up optimally for the race is his main and most important objective for this weekend, and helping his teammate is secondary. I would also assume that the engineers will give badoer any improvements that they develope with Kimi concentrated focus. Points is the name of the game, and F1 isn’t kind to underachievers or rookies. That’s just the way the sport is, and although I like Fernnando, I think his comments at this interview , if they were quoted exactly, were much the same as you attributed to Kimi, with maybe a bit of spin. In my opinion, Ferrari are a dissappointmentto me most of the time. They don’t seem to feel that contracts mean anything at all if they want to break them, but if some wants to break a contract with they’d be srceaming bloody murder for the whole season. Sportsman , they are not.

Furthermore, how many people stepped up to help Kimi when he first arrived in F1, He achieved what he did, by paying attention and learning, and I hugely admire his distain for the press. There aren’t that many journalists that are worth giving time of day, and most love to tear down anyone that doesn’t play their game willingly.

In my opinion, kimi is not at fault in the least, and should be admired. Hell, we;ve been hearing that Alonso is going to Ferrari now for nearly 2 years, and the fault lays in Ferraris lap as far as rumors go. I do however admit that Kimi benefitted from the same situation in 2006, and some thoight he was the reason Schu Left with what some called a loving shove.


This is weird stuff. Allmost as weird as the one where you made assumptions that Williams is disappointed with Nico’s lack of performance.

Ok, Räikkönen did not promise to walk hand in hand with Luca around the pits(for what Luca has Schumi), but didn’t he just say he’s willing to help. Just like Alonso did, only with more words. Alonso also mentioned that Romain hasn’t asked help yet, and that is because they are at Renault – just as Kimi&Luca at Ferrari – working separately with their own engineers during the practices.

So they are basically saying the same thing. And Kimi already yesterday said: “all of us in the team will get behind him and try and help him as much as we can – – we will try and help Luca in whatever way possible” (

So what exactly should have Kimi said that would have sounded as good and wise as what Alonso said? To mention few car parts and technical terms??


Why should Kimi offer a hand to Badoer? The Iceman’s absolutely correct in saying that Luca has enough help at his disposal. He’s been a member of the Ferrari family for ten years, and regardless of the fact that he’s only driven the F60 at a promotional event, he’s so firmly entrenched that he has all the necessary help at hand. Despite his ice cool exterior, im sure Kimi’s contract negotiations are more on the agenda than offering a hand to a close-to-retirement backmarker…


I appreciate knowing this little role-play. But I have question. We have always been saying that Raikkonen has not grown as a man, as a teamman, as Ferrari driver. But has he really grown as a driver, as a racer? My answer will be a big NO. When Raikkonen and Alonso burst into F1 scene, we all knew Raikkonen was more capable and had more potential than Raikkonen. But has he been able to build onto his natural ability? Has he been able to add enough weapons to his armoury which come with experience? I do not think so. If you watch Raikkonen drive of 2002 and then watch a drive of 2008; sadly there is very little difference. On the other hand, Alonso has evolved as a racer much faster than Raikkonen despite of having a modest start. His learning curve has been much steeper than Raikkonen might even fathom. Hence, apart from their conduct we should look at their overall career graph as well.


When Raikkonen and Alonso burst into F1 scene, we all knew Raikkonen was more capable and had more potential than Raikkonen.

This is some funny stuff here! 🙂


My bad :(! I wanted to mean Kimi looked more talented of two. Thats what happens if you start foruming well past midnight after slogging for 15 hours.


Google: finnish mentality


I think Kimi is his own man and it is fair enough that he is that way. A win is over due but don’t forget the car he has been driving this year is probably worse than the 2005 car that Michael Schumacher had to put up with. That season Michael got, 3 podiums and that lucky win in Indianpolis 2005.

Kimi has 2 podiums this season, and I can see at least 2 more podiums and even a win in the last 7 races. And for that reason Ferrari have to keep him for 2010. Alonso ain’t exactly done much this season other than qualifying on pole with next to no fuel on board.


Let’s face it – Raikkonen’s a [mod]. Always has been, always will be. Can’t understand why anyone would support, follow or root for him. Selfish to the core.


“Let’s face it – Raikkonen’s a [mod].” Odd, I had him pegged as a [rocker]!


Apparently you believe that selfishness is somehow “bad”.

All great things involve selfishness. Ferrari wouldn’t even exist

as a company without it.

We’re discussing RACING here. Racing is not an altruistic activity. If you think it is, or should be, you have a lot left to



His attitude stinks. What does he give back to the sport? To the fans? He will never do an interview on the grid. He speaks like a monotone robot. Compare him to Massa and you will see that a Ferrari driver can be fast AND a nice likeable guy.


Who is more robot than a driver being told to lie and follows just to gain a point?


Why should Kimi give a nice press coverage? His job is driving the cars fast and as long as does it, who cares whether he speaks montones or not? Actually he is more honest than many drivers who make a show to press.


Hi James,

How committed are GP2 drivers to their teams (Contract), because it seems like whenever there’s an empty seat in F1 they don’t hesitate. Is it that GP2 is simply a road to F1?


I don’t think it’s fair that Raikkonen gets press about being a “bad” teammate. His job is really to drive the car, not babysit his teammate. (Especially one that hasn’t raced competitively in almost a decade) I mean he may be apathetic, but shouldn’t feel committed to helping his teammate. It is Badoer’s responsibility, who has countless engineers and facilities at his disposal, to acclimatize quickly. He wouldn’t be driving if Ferrari didn’t think he’d be up to the task.

I mean Autosport reported Luca Badoer had FOUR pitlane speed violations in ONE practice session? The 60kph (race weekend) to 100kph (testing) pitlane speed limit difference is no excuse. I still think Marc Gene would’ve been a better stand-in for Massa.

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