Nico Rosberg
2016 Formula 1 World Champion
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

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1

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.

2

i think its the other way around

3

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.

4

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.

5

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

6

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?

7

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.

8

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.

9

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!

10

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

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.

12

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 ?

13

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.

14

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

15

I think it's more that Schu was 43 years old...

16

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.

17

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

18

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.'

19

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.

20

@ 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.

21

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.

22

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.

23

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.

24

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?

25

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?

26

@crespo

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

27

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.

28

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

29

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.

30

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.

31

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?

32

He was so nearly WC in 1999(?)

33

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

34

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.

35

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.

36

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

37

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

38

Irvine never had the same car as Schumacher!

39

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

40

"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.

41

How about...

"Alonso is the left rabbit, Ferrari is the right rabbit"?

Works too, right? 😛

42

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..

43

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.

44

sorry typo, I mean -

"circumstances making it hard".

45

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.

46

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

The PR guys is really funny, though.

47

is the lower positioned rabbit Eric Boullier?

Pretty gutsy PR office at Enstone.

48

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

49

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!

50
Clarks4WheelDrift

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...

51

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

52

Eddie's toupee looks, suspiciously, like it might have once belonged to one of those rabbits 😉

53

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.

54

@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?

55

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

Harsh to point out, yes, but true.

56
Clarks4WheelDrift

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. 😉

57

RB will be the rabbit underneath.

58

No, it's a simple joke 😀

59

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.

60

Why is "mating" rough?

Is everyone else into S&M?

I only experience sweet pleasure - am I deprived?

61

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

62

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

63

Buahahahahaha.........(Best post!)

64

pardon me but how would you know that?

65

LOL!

66

Are they ? How can you tell ?

67

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.

68

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.

69

...why point splitting? I think it is great to have Alonso as a second driver. 🙂

70

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!

71

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.

72

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

73

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.

74

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.

75

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.

77

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.

78

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. 🙂

79

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.

80

“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.

81

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

82

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.

83

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

84

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.

86

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.

87

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.

88

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

89

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 😛

91

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.

92

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

93

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

94

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.

95

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.

96

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

97

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

98

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

99

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.

100

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. 🙂

101

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.

102
Clarks4WheelDrift

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)

103

@Clarks4WheelDrift

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

104

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

105

Lol

I'd love to know how long you spent perfecting that - nice 🙂

106

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...

107

I'm sure it would breed many theories..

108

Kimi at Lotus, hare today gone tomorrow!

109

...and big eared boys!! 😀

110

@james - lol , witty reply :P)

111

Lotus gone mad with their rabbit tweet, what.

112

Where's Lewis when you need him..?

113

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.

114

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.

115

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.

116

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

117

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

118

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.

119

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.

120

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

121

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.

122

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.

123

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?

124

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

125

"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.

126

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

127

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

128

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?

129

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.

130

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.

131

Badoer could only finish last in Quali.

132

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.

133

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.

134

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?

135

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?

136

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.

137

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.

139

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.

140

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. 🙂

141

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

142

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

143

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.

144

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

145

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.

146

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

148

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

149

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

150

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

151

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.

152

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..

153

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.

154

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 🙂

155

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.

156

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...

157

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..

158

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!

159

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

160

Spot on Anil.

161

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

162

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.

163

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.

164

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.

165

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.

166

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!

167

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.

168

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.

169

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.

170

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

171

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.

172

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...

173

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.

174

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.

175

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.

177

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.

178

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.

179

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.

180

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.

181

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.

182

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.

183
Clarks4WheelDrift

"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.

184

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.

185

Fernando has also worked with Allison! 😉

186

It is an interesting season coming. Well

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

187

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

188

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.

189

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.

190

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

191

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.

192

Correct.

193

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.

194

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

195

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.

196

+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

197

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.

198

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?

199

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...

200

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.

201

"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.

202

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.

203

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.

204

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.

205

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 🙂

206

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

207
VP of Common Sense

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.

208

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?

210

+1

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

211

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?

🙂

212

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

213

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).

214

I agree...thought I'd throw the money thing in to amuse those who believed the "motivation" thing 😉

215

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?

216

>>>>>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

217

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.

218

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.

219

Feels like. Full time job to me!

Thanks

220

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...?

221

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.

222

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!

223

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.

224

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.

225

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.

226

If water drowns out the fire, there's no more fire left to evaporate the water into steam! 😉

227

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

228

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

229

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.

230

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.

231

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

232

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.

233

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.

234

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%

235

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.

236

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

Bam

238

You forgot the "into each other bit" on the end James.

239

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.

240

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

241

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

242

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

243

Ferrari wants the constuctor championship.

A drivers title would just be a bonus.

Therefor a good choice.

244

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?

245

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?

246

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

247

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.

248

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!

249

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

250

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.

251

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

253

Only time will tell

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

254

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!

255

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

256

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.

257

It certainly isn't parity in the 'pay cheque' department !!

258

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...

259

Just watch 2014 season $)

260

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.

261
VP of Common Sense

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.

262

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.

263

+1000

But 2014 will be different anyway.

264

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 .....

265

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.

266

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.

267

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

268

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!

269

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.

271

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!!!

272

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

273

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

274

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?

275

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

276

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

277

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

279

LOL, nice one 🙂

280

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.

281

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

282

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..

283

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?

284

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.

285
Darrin from Canada

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...

286

> was decidedly average for most of it

as well as The Hulk this year, right?

287

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.

288
Clarks4WheelDrift

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. 😉

289

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 🙂

290

"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...

291

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

292

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

293

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!

294

Ya I agree

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

295

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.

296

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!

297

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!

298

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

299

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

300

More so when team orders were outlawed in 2010 !

301

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.

302

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.

303

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.

304

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.

305

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?

306

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.