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Montezemolo says Raikkonen could beat Alonso to the championship
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Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Sep 2013   |  7:42 am GMT  |  411 comments

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has spoken about the rehiring of Kimi Raikkonen, comparing him to Niki Lauda, who returned to F1 after a short break more motivated than he had been before and suggesting that he can emulate the Austrian and beat his team mate to the world championship,

“Raikkonen’s case is almost identical to Lauda,” Montezemolo says in Gazzetta dello Sport today. “Also Niki at a certain point said ‘enough’ because he couldn’t do it any more. I’m speaking of the twin brother of Kimi, because the driver who we had racing for us wasn’t the one we hired.

“The break has done him good, he has returned to greatness, he’s won races, he’s finished lots of races. I wanted a driver who would make me look back on Massa with regret and I’ve got one. From Raikkonen I am demanding victories, consistency, podiums. Alonso will be the main beneficiary. Returning to Lauda, when he came back remember he beat Prost (his McLaren team mate) to the world championship..”

Montezemolo’s words are designed to stir up both drivers. In the interviews he recalls his jokes of 2009, Raikkonen’s last season with Ferrari, where Montezemolo kept saying that Raikkonen’s twin brother was in the car, not the champion, while he stirs the pot with Alonso, suggesting that Raikkonen will put pressure on the Spaniard and that will benefit him. Like Enzo Ferrari before him, who liked to consider himself “an agitator of men” Montezemolo is filling the role in the modern era.

Asked at what stage he spoke to Raikkonen, Montezemolo said ten days before the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.He has yet to meet the Finn, but spoke to him by phone.

Alonso was always kept abreast of the signing of Raikkonen, he says, “Also because the alternative of signing a young driver (Hulkenberg) in a championship as complex as 2014 did not give us certainty. Today Raikkonen is the strongest of everyone, along with Alons, Vettel and Hamilton.”

Montezemolo says that there has been no reconsideration of the position of team principal Stefano Domenicali, despite a difficult season for the team, suggesting that the Raikkonen decision was driven by Domenicali so he must see it through and take responsibility for it, “We would miss him. He was the main factor in rehiring Kimi,” said Montezemolo. “He’s done great work for the future. And let’s not forget that twice in the last three years we’ve lost the title at the last race, through no fault of his.”

Meanwhile Felipe Massa, who has been team mate to both drivers has told Brazilian Globo TV that the two superstars will “collide” at Ferrari and predicts trouble,

“I know both Fernando and Kimi on and of the track and I rate them as excellent drivers, but I’m afraid they will collide when sharing the team,” said Massa “I told the bosses to breathe as much as possible while they still can because it will be hard for them to breathe next season.”

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And another interesting story in the resigning of Kimi drama:



I thought this article about the situation with Kimi and Ferrari in 2008 was very interesting. I was a bit resistant at first but the more I read, the more convincing I found it. I’d love to know what you think, James.



There’s a huge difference between the way Enzo used to stir up his drivers and the way Luca is handling it: Enzo didn’t do it publicly! Luca’s trying to be like the great man, but instead it just sounds like an insecure witch, who needs to put other people down to feel like he’s the big man.

His swipe at Massa (“I wanted a driver who would make me look back on Massa with regret”) is nasty and for what? Filipe is leaving: only a total jerk would say something like that.

And the comments about Kiki and his “twin” in 2008? He’s just making noise so he can read about himself in the press. Are people aware that Kimi demanded an apology from Luca for the way he was treated back then before he signed for 2014 and Luca gave it to him.

Luca’s showing himself to be a poor leader. Personally, I think he’s starting to realize that the fingers are starting to point toward him and he’s grasping at anything he can to deflect attention from his own poor leadership of the F1 team. Luca has done a fantastic job with the Ferrari road car division but if I was in the Fiat board, I’d be looking for someone else to take over Luca’s role for F1.


As far as I am concerned, Monty has hired Kimi coz he wants to show who is in power at Ferrari. Since 2010, we have seen Alonso continuously putting the picture that the car is not good enough but I am doing wonders with it. For the past three years the Ferrari management were not saying anything openly to him coz they understand that somewhere he was correct. But they also know that the engineers are working hard to make ferrari win. When you are a team like Ferrari, and you dont win, it becomes difficult to digest the fact that youre losing. And when you lose like you did in 2010 and 2012, it hurts more. And when your lead driver keeps on blabbering in the media that he is doing wonders with crap car for 3 years, there comes a time when enough is enough. And this year monty showed that to him. Alonso has the right to criticize, but to go and and on about it after having lost two champiopnships isnt cool. At Ferrari you lose together and win together. Earlier they thought alonso and ferrari lose and win together, but this summer the water had hit above the belt. Make no mistake, a 3 time champion in Prost was sacked mid way back in the 90s. At that time, Ferrari car was much less competitive, and Prost had much more value than todays alonso. So if Ferrari could sack the best driver when they had shit car in 1990’s, they could have very well done that to alonso. But they didnt, instead they made his life more difficult by giving him a challenge which he must accept to redeem himself at Ferrari, and prove that what he has been claiming is true. Monty has thrown an open gauntlet to him. Are you upto it, Fernando? you said you dragged the team and the car to miracles, so are you upto the challenge of facing a driver as good as yours? We will know this next year. And we will also know how good the car really is, as it might well be that Fernando might not be extracting 200 percent out of it as he keeps claiming on his twitter account and in front of the media.


Must be we are watching different F1 races ?


Kimi and Hamilton are the only drivers that rely on skill to win WDCs…

Alonso had the mass damper advantage…

Button had the double diffuser advantage…

Vettel is nothing without Newey… infact, I would say Vettel would have no WDCs without Newey…


Hmm, interestingly, Kimi didn’t win any championships even with Newey. It’s nonsensical to rule out a WDC simply because of who designed their car.

Alonso won the title in 2006 despite the mass dampers being banned half way through.


James, I am puzzled why the F1 media does not even acknowledge the vital role of Shumi in how the 2008 season turned out for Kimi. He was the consultant in charge of car development, and the official third driver. In his usual and uncompromising organizational restructuring efforts 1) he made Massa the official debrief driver starting in Monaco, 2) development direction was determined, pretty much, based on only Massa’s feedback – the car became so understeery that, if he was still racing, even himself would have had hard time with it against Massa 3) He was in charge of the pit lane when all those silly pit-stop mistakes took place 4) Unilaterally changing Kimi’s suspension, mid-season, was his decision 5) not returning the suspension for 6 races was also his call (imagine doing that to himself or Alonso). Perhaps not intentional, but all his decisions were the most significant determining factors for Kimi’s results for the season, yet not a single F1 journo even mentions these facts. Puzzling really…


I think his influence was overstated. Not sure he was as involved as people made out at the time


James, I definately think he was a factor, there’s too many “irregularities” concerning incidents that happened during the 2008 season, factors that jimbo above stated. Strangely enough, at the beginning of the 2007 season I read a F1 racing article by Peter Windsor stipulating the effect that Schumacher would have. Things like how Schumacher would assist his protege Massa and looking after the team’s interest the way he was used to, and to my amazement it turned out to be that way…


There are only two real problems left at Ferrari :-

1. Luca Di Montezemolo

2. Fernando Alonso

If anyone believes half the garbage that comes out of their mouths they must have the IQ of a jellyfish.

The only questions that remain are:-

a) how far will Ferrari go to rid themselves of their political No1 racer

b) when will Ferrari rid themselves of their actual No1.Politician

I have a feeling the answers to both are intertwined and even the Ferrari name cannot continue to sustain the political self manoeuvring lies that come from both. The whole saga of Raikkonens 2009 termination have been crystallised by this re-signing and still we get this gibberish from this clown.

He never takes ownership for his mistakes, he hedges his bets using subordinates, he doesn’t have the courage to stand up to his star driver, yet he prefers to hire someone he fired to help “balance the power”, All this and he has the nerve to say he prefers an angry Alonso than a wuss.. Well mr Montezemolo there is a No1 Wuss at the very head of Ferrari one that needs to be a Leader of men Not an Agitator..I think Kimi told him to f/off more than once and I wouldn’t be surprised if the spineless Spaniard has also. What shall we see next ??another $50m paid out to terminate their next scapegoat because Monte doesn’t have the balls to deal in the truth.

All I can hope for is that he keeps out of 2014 altogether and ets the race team deal with challenges ahead. But I suspect he will be the first one their when they succeed and the last one their to point the finger when they fail.


Elie, calm down.

There is truth in what you write.

But when it is all said and done, Montezemolo has shown, hedging his bets on potential future blame game aside, that he wants to go for racing quality, over PR domination.

What has been written above here suggests an interesting point, for which I would like your opinion.

1. Could it actually be that Montezemolo has hired Kimi as part of a campaign to get Alonso to quit, so Ferrari don’t have to pay him out?

2. If they’ve hired Kimi, could it mean that the Ferrari management will now nullify the intra-team head games and tilting of the playing field that has become associated with Alonso’s team management practices?

3. If they weren’t going to nullify the intra team dirty fighting, then they would be hanging Kimi out to dry, and nullifying the benefits that have apparently been vouched for him by Allison and others in the engineering staff; would they do that?


Hi Dean, I think the answer in the most part is the “hedging”

1. That’s all part of Montes game. Push FA till he goes- if not they get max performance anyway. Win win

2. Definitely they need to change the psychological mind games Fernando plays within/outside the team. Intentionally or otherwise it will happen with Kimi there. Can you imagine :-

Team:- How was the car out there ?

FA :- It was all over the place but I managed to fight it straight. I have it 110% to get on the 3rd row

KR: “it’s not too bad”..We need to improve traction a little and I made a small mistake at the last corner cost me 1 tenth but we are in the front row. So it’s ok.

That won’t carry for very long will it.

3. I think both drivers will have equal say in the team. This will challenge their resources but thats just what they want/ need right now to keep improving. They got a guy whos done a fantastic job at maximising the efficiency of resources at Lotus and this will be the greatest attribute Allison will bring. Allison has worked with both KR and FA- but with Kimi it’s been more recent and if you look at Fridays you can see the success ( or rarely fail) of a part almost immediately in the times comparison to Grosjean. With FA there always seems to be some uncertainty with the parts more often than not. I think Lotus success with both Allison/KR must/ will be favoured when there is doubt on updates- but I don’t think this will be too grey an area for both anyway.. But I think the biggest work is being done right now by JA to ensure their processes and tunnel correlations are better before they get to testing.

The way Kimi sets a car up for “feel” in the front end, coupled with his incredible sensitivity in a car serves him better than any guy Ive ever seen in this department.. It’s this that has given him almost instant success in every car he drives- it might not always be a winner buts its often instantly quick!


@Kartace; -telemetry does not tell how a car feels to a driver.. It’s does not pick up vibrations, it does not steer the car or feels the brakes the way a driver does..

Use your telemetry to address someone who doesn’t know the difference but before you do that– learn it yourself


Have you ever heard of telemetry ? They need no asking driver in to understand se what is the car doing and what is the driver.


“Will Not be too grey an area anyway” sorry


*There* not their..


Well said!! 🙂


Moving onto adaptation, every driver wants a car to work like he wants to. Even Alonso, for all those who have given in on his hype. Post spain 2008 Ferrari made subtantial changes which werent approved by Kimi. I blame him too coz he should have whined and shouted about it, which he didnt. But Ferrari is to be blamed equally. Now i dont think kimi will let a scenario like that to happen. Maybe he trusted ferrari too much, which he wont this time. Another aspect is that people talk that Alonso is like schumi, who develops the car so well. If that is the case, why did he not bring any engineers like schumi did to ferrari? On the contrary we find a ‘poor car developer’ like kimi taking slade, alison and Debeer with him to lotus. This shows and proves kimi is technically as serious as anyone out there. Also, allison’s comments about him testing speaks volumes. So please shed the myth that Kimi is a poor tester. He isnt. Just that he doesnt hype about it in the media, which loves the to phrase Alonso as ‘the complete driver.’


There more to the situation with Kimi in 2008. Ferrari was VERY eager to get the Santander sponsorship that was tied to Alonso. Alonso had already agreed to join Ferrari in 2010 but there is some fairly convincing research that’s been done, that point to Ferrari doing as much as they could to get Kimi out of the way, so they could bring Alonso and Santander on board on year earlier in 2009.



Yes well said. It is a myth. He surely does not stay back at the garage and work with the engineers, what he says is economical, but enough and lot of stuff he does on his own.

A poor tester is not invited to test a GP3 car and his feedback will not be valued, especially when your dealing with a prototype.


Very well put!

World over best orators rule, people love those who communicate effectively… and many times confuse it to their ability to perform.

Pretentiousness was popular till about recently. Seeing the followers for Kimi and the likes, i guess things are changing… people are seeing through.

I have not seen anybody who sells himself better than Alonso. In any corporate environment [including F1] that is a huge plus.


Actually, Fernando lost out to his teammate 3 times in his career. In 2001, his teammate is classified before him at the end of the standings. In 2003, Truli had one more point before he was sacked from Renault. Not to mention that he had the only victory in his bag, Monaco. Now getting to Kimi Raikkonen, I think a lot of myths have to be settled by next season. Some journalists tend to write that he doesnt develop the car well. However, Lotus people have categorically said that Kimi is so good with parts that he doesnt needto test much whether they are working or not. He comes in once, tests, says what he thinks, they adapt and the car goes faster. When you have a driver like that, you dont need to spend time in the garages 24 hours testing. Test what for so long when you already have the answers? Also, Alonso has been building on his hype that he is doing wonders in the Ferrari, whereas we must admit that last year, ferrari was the second best package (mclaren kept on failing). Lotus was a distant 4th, Kimi hung on to 3rd only coz others had reliability issues, but even that is a great testament to his comeback.


I don’t think there will much infighting between Alonso and Kimi. Kimi simply doesn’t give a damn about politics and scheming, Kimi is about driving car ad getting on with his job. I think that if Kimi starts to beat Alonso on a regular basis it, Alonso will just implode like he did at McLaren



yikes… where to begin?

It is not Alonso vs. Räikkönen. It is Alonso/ Räikkönen vs. the other teams.

Remember them? Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren, Lotus.

The amount of Fernando/ Kimi — who’s better/ who lost because of whatever reason — is enough to make one’s head spin.

2014 will not be a Ferrari driver vs driver — and who’s going to lose their job as a result — contest. Ferrari will be lucky to have the 2nd best engine on the grid.

Remember that part? Race cars, engines? New regulations. It is just crazy to see all the historical revisionist exercises going on here. Makes my head hurt.

2014 is a very new year. New engines, new energy recovery systems and new aerodynamics.

What difference does 2006 or 2008 championship results matter now.

Frankly… I’m liking the low key Mercedes approach more and more.


Andrew C.


Ferrari have played a blinder here. I can see Vettel becoming a bit unsettled in the not too distant future. Ferrari for Constructors 2014 then. ALO and RAI will push the hell out of the team now -something missing since 2006.

I only hope Ferrari are up to it we shall see!


What I think is really at the heart of all of this is KImi’s performances during the summer of 2009 through the end of his tenure. James and others reported that the quality of Kimi’s performances then were so strong that the Ferrari engineers could not explain them, given the lack of quality of the car. I doubt that the Ferrari engineers or Domenicali forgot this. Then bring in the guy who is probably Kimi’s biggest fan in the world right now (James Allison) as the new technical director, and it looks like what we have here is an overwhelming chorus from the Ferrari engineers and Domenicali that simply overwhelmed Luca and almost forced his hand. Some things that have been put out in the grapevine about Ferrari engineers thinking Alonso could get more performance out of the car in qualifying, and it really looks like the engineers have spoken.

This is going to be a huge challenge for Alonso on a performance and personal level, probably the biggest he has faced in his career. He has a reputation for throwing his toys out of the pram when things don’t go his way and for demanding to be treated as the anointed number one of the team. He has gone from being in a position in which he wonders whether or not he’ll ever win another championship to perhaps even driving for his career in the top echelon teams of F1. How he reacts to this challenge- Kimi coming in with clearly lots of fanfare- will determine the course of the rest of his career. Either he will buck up, get down to work, raise his game, and do everything he can to win while not complaining; or he will self-destruct and become a toxic commodity. It’s go time for him.


Well said 🙂 He is economical with words, but what he says counts and should not be ignored.


very well put, Paige, again.


I absolutely agree with this.

Coming from a Lewis/Fernando fan.

I also like Kimi. Just his crazy fans turn me off a bit..



About Kimi and mechanician (overall technical staff)

1 In McLaren mechanician and engineers simply adore him (Marc Priestly)

2 The same was in Ferrari. They worship Kimi and now they only wait when he is back

3. The same thing in Lotus. Like Davide Valsecchi put it: all mechanics and enginees love Kimi. PR and cooks little bit less.

It tells us little bit about Kimis work style.


Good Points.


Top stuff! Like all your other posts on the Kimi to Ferrari subject!


Vettal wins and dominates – Newey’s Car

Definition of complete driver – he builds the car, gives feedback(s), qualifies good with minimum mistakes, great race craft.

So when the guy who is called complete driver does not develop a car in four years.. bad engineers in Ferrari camp.

Sound logic, there.

This is getting even more interesting, I can see it coming – if Alonso starts losing.. its just that they built the car around Kimi.

So, again, remind me why is he the best among four? oh! yes, he develops the car. 🙂


Just did a rough comparison between two great drivers;

they really come out to be evenly matched!

From years 2001 till 2013 (in progress), we have 10 seasons where they have raced against each other in different machinery. (2002/2010/2011 not counted).

In terms of finishing in WDC’s in all these years;

Kimi leads Alonso 5-4, although it will be 5-5 as Alonso should finish this year ahead of Kimi.

Kimi has had 33 retirements to Alonso’s 31.

Alonso has been superior in terms of total points scored,

1024 to Kimi’s 896. (expected as Alonso is 2 times WDC).

Alonso has lost to his team mate once (2007), although points were same but was classified lower, whereas Kimi has lost to his team mate twice (2001,2008).

Kimi has had 4 chances at WDC (2003/2005/2007/2008) and Alonso has had 5 chances at WDC (2005/2006/2007/2010/2012).

Overall; (Counting all years from 2001 till date)


208 v 187 starts

32 v 20 wins

93 v 75 podiums

22 v 16 poles

2 v 1 WDC’s

***Kimi has 21 less races than Alonso, as two years he was out of the sport.

They really evenly matched, its great for sport that they are going to be in same team next year and I guess is really the first F1 has had such an even pairing since a long long time.


Coulthard beat Raikkonen 41 vs. 24 in 2002. But interesting insight nonetheless.


James I think LDM meant he wanted a driver that would not let him regret Massa leaving. Quite a big difference in that meaning.


I think fans and the media alike are ready in a lot more than what is there with Luca and Alonso’s comments over the summer. Luca never seems to slight Alonso at all in this, but we all love some good drama it would seem.


The main beneficiary from Kimi’s return in 2014 will be either Lewis or Seb (provided Renault power-train is not worse than Merc) as I can’t see Ferrari drivers win WDC (WCC is inevitable) due to their inter-team battles


don’t underestimate rosberg,he will be right up there unless the car is developed around lewis’ driving style.


What ever happend to Kimi’s competitiveness (or lack of) in the second half of 2008 and the first half of 2009, Ferrari rehiring him now does underline the point that they know what was the real reason (and now tacitly admit it). After all, would they rehire a driver they know to be second rate or prone to motivational problems?

Tom Haythornthwaite

I think Luca di Montezemolo should turn his attention a bit more to his design team, personally.


Talk about contradicting yourself! Luca should just come out and say it: Regardless of whether it motivates Fernando or not, Ferrari really see Kimi as the Anti-Alonso.

I understand Alonso may not have the most “delightful” reputation amongst his peers, and probably has the greatest amount of haters out there, but you’ve got to give it up to the man: he’s a winner. He knows how to get the job done, and he gets it done good. So yes, Fernando’s own mistakes have also contributed to his lack of championships; but ultimately, the single biggest factor in all of this, is Ferrari’s inability to produce a car that is consistently fast(er) relative to the competition. Plus, if (as Luca wants to believe) the car wasn’t really that far off, then surely it would have propelled Felipe to a much higher position, regardless of his slump.

I once remember reading an article, sometime in 2010, that even at that early point of their relationship, Fernando was already quite unsatisfied at Ferrari since he felt – compared to his experience in McLaren – the developments weren’t coming fast enough. I think, since the post-Todt era, Ferrari has again come under di Montezemolo’s (direct) control (through Stefano Domenicali), and the pre-Schumacher “siesta” culture has returned. In F1 Racing’s “Ferrari Special” (Sept.’08), Michael Schumacher said that one of the biggest changes he and Ross Brawn brought to Ferrari were discipline and methodology; i.e. If at Benetton 9 o’clock meant wheel change practice, someone reminded Michael to get ready 5 mins before. Whereas at Ferrari, in those days, it was just time for another cappuccino. I think with Fernando, Ferrari’s always had an assertive leader on the track. What they lacked was an assertive leader on the technical side of things (Brawn) and on the political (Todt).

From his previous statements and past rants, my impression of di Montezemolo is he tends to reason in a high minded and mythological manner, i.e. Ferrari is a special team steeped in racing history. So since Ferrari is special, all problems ultimately lay elsewhere not Ferrari.


As colourful as his words may sound… LDM is just stating the obvious: that Kimi CAN beat Alonso. Of course he can.

I don’t think he will, but he can. Kimi is one of the top drivers. And no, it wasnt his twin driving in 2008… it was just him driving a red pony.

As for Alonso… the deal is decided, Ferrari will try to grab Vettel in a couple yrs. Webber said it, and he never BSs. But for Vettel to win, they’d need a super team, cause Vettel just doesn’t have the goods his titles suggest.


For Vettel to win races, he just needs a reasonably competitive car. He’s had “the goods” since he was a rookie at Toro Rosso. For the championship, it’d need to be the best, or close to the best (which has always been the case in F1).


Really? because he won the championship in that Toro Rosso? cause if you’re talking about Monza, then Maldonado has those goods as well.

Fact is, the RB has been the car with the most 1-2s, the dominant WCC team. That car has been able to win championships despite numerous reliability and other problems.

Not that Vettel isnt a worthy driver. He’s just not worth those 4 titles in a row, no matter how anyone paints it.


The huge difference is that Vettel consistently delivered results that were beyond what he should have achieved in that car. Maldonado barely scored outside of Spain, and ultimately underachieved across the season.

Through pointing out that RBR had numerous reliability problems, yet Vettel still keeps winning, you’ve inadvertently proved that Vettel has been as worthy of the three (possibly four) titles in a row, as Red Bull Racing have been of their team titles.


Im sure Ferrari know exactly what they are getting from Kimi and Fernando will know too- they will have done analysis on every race since his comeback relative to team mate and his peers.

These things are never that much on a gamble


I cant wait for the day Eddie Jordan’s prophecy comes true and Alonso goes back to McLaren Honda ni 2015 following a fall out with Ferrari, a remaking of Senna’esque times, a much needed marriage for McLaren and Alonso.


Fernando Flintstone has nowhere else to go other than maybe Lotus. Mercedes has Hamilton and we know from 2007 that he can’t beat Hamilton. He won’t go to Red Bull while Vettel is there since he knows Vettel is quicker than him (hence vetoing his move to Ferrari). McLaren he tried to blackmail, so I can’t imagine them wanting him. It’s win at Ferrari or retire at this point.

The Spanish Inquisitor

Felipe will beat fernando next races…. LDM will force Fernando to exit.


You sure about that 🙂

Though Massa’s comments reported today are insightful and I am very interested to see how he goes for the rest of the season.

I think he’s pretty mad with Ferrari and after stuff like the forced Austin gearbox penalty and the fact that the car caused at least one of the Monaco crashes, he should be. The rest of Alonso’s season could be interesting.


2006- Playing second fiddle to Schumacher

2007- Relinquishing the lead in his home Grand Prix to help his teammate win the title

Singapore 2008- One of the most farcical screw-ups in recent years with the fuel hose problem

Brazil 2008- Having the title snatched from him at the last corner of the last race

2009- Rubbish machinery, right up till his accident

2010- ‘Fernando is faster than you’

2011- Really bad year in general

First part of 2012- Rubbish machinery again

Korea 2012- ‘Stay 3 seconds behind Fernando’ (or whatever it was…)

US 2012- Delibrate gearbox penalty

Australia and China 2013- screwed by his team prioritising Alonso pitstop-wise (particularly in Australia when he was ahead on track)

His frustrations are fully understandable and tbh it’s incredible they haven’t boiled over until now. I think he could care more about whether Luca wants to regret him or not. Let’s hope we see the true Felipe in the final seven races of the season.


Very well said, lets see what happens. Felipe has a very good chance over 7 races to be his own man and make a strong claim to a top seat for next season.

It’s now or never Felipe !!

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