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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.”

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


He was quicker then..and….


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


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.


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).


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


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.


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


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


Alonso’s goose has been cooked…

Dirty politics can only take you so far…


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.


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


“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…”


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.


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,


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…


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.


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!


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


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.


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.


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!


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


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).


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?


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?


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.


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.


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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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