With Alonso and Raikkonen as teammates Ferrari have created a F1 super team

11 September, 2013

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen teammates in 2014

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen teammates in 2014

Kimi Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari alongside Fernando Alonso has handed Formula 1 a compelling storyline for the next two seasons, with two possible outcomes; the first is that all goes according to plan and the duo work together to rake in the titles, or it all backfires terribly.

Whether the stellar line-up of champions, Ferrari’s first such pairing for 50 years, blazes a trail to title glory or derails itself in a shower of sparks along the way remains to be seen.

The two are fire and ice, and it has been no secret in the F1 paddock that Alonso would rather have retained Brazilian Felipe Massa as a loyal number two, but equally determined.

Both know what it takes to win titles, both are supremely quick and old and wise enough to see beyond the usual mind games.

“I don’t think [that] Alonso will be too pleased to see Raikkonen there,” said former racer and Sky television commentator Martin Brundle on Wednesday.

F1 debutants at the 2001 Australian GP (L to R) Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Fernando Alonso and Enrique Bernoldi

F1 debutants at the 2001 Australian GP (L to R) Kimi Raikkonen, Juan Pablo Montoya, Fernando Alonso and Enrique Bernoldi

” [Raikkonen] will go about it in his own way. If he heard a radio message ‘Fernando is faster than you’, Kimi Raikkonen is not going to move out of the way.

“He’s going to radio back and say ‘So why is he behind me, then, if he’s faster than me?…and a few expletives along the way. It will definitely put Alonso on his toes. It will be the strongest pairing in Formula One.”

Raikkonen, the last driver to win a title for Ferrari and first in the post-Michael Schumacher era, did assist Massa in 2008 (albeit only to the runner up spot) just as the Brazilian helped him become champion. But generally, the Finn does not do small talk, nor does he seem remotely intimidated by anybody or anything, but his dislike of the media and promotional engagements is legendary.

When Jenson Button linked up with 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton at McLaren in 2010 in Formula 1′s most recent ‘super team’ of champions, the older Briton was warned that he was entering the ‘Lion’s Den’ with everything geared around Hamilton.

It did not work out that way, and 2009 champion Button is now the established leader at McLaren while Hamilton has moved on to Mercedes.

Fernando Alonso is wheeled on to the Monza grid for the Italian GP

Fernando Alonso is wheeled on to the Monza grid for the Italian GP

Alonso has grown accustomed to being the main man at Maranello but Raikkonen knows his way around the factory corridors well enough and is also being reunited with former colleagues.

The Finn has already won nine races for Ferrari from his previous stint there, only two fewer than Alonso has racked up for the scuderia. The Spaniard won his titles at Renault in 2005 and 2006.

Raikkonen may not care – or talk – enough to be a leader of men, in the mould of Schumacher or Alonso, but speed and success are powerful motivators in themselves and the 2007 champion will play to his strengths.

Pat Fry and James Allison, two key technical figures, worked with him at McLaren and Lotus respectively – as they did with Alonso.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali is a known Raikkonen fan, despite the Finn being paid off for the final year of his contract at the end of 2009 to make way for Alonso.

Stefano Domenicali is fond of and rates Kimi Raikkonen highly since their days at Ferrari together

Stefano Domenicali is fond of and rates Kimi Raikkonen highly since their days at Ferrari together

All that means that there should be a much more level playing field next term at a team renowned for favouring one driver over another.

At a time when Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel is speeding towards his fourth successive title, and the sport is reliving the sort of yawning domination that Schumacher enjoyed at Ferrari, that has to be good news for spectators.

Alonso, however, is likely to be concerned that Ferrari’s dream team could turn into another personal nightmare – unless their car is so dominant that they are battling only themselves.

When the Spaniard was paired with Hamilton, then in his rookie season, at McLaren in 2007 they fought all the way with the team insisting on equal status.

Kimi Raikkonen  stole the 2007 F1 title from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who clashed at McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen stole the 2007 F1 title from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who clashed at McLaren

The outcome saw Raikkonen snatch the title against the odds with Hamilton and Alonso level-pegging one point behind the Finn.

Had McLaren imposed the tactics that Ferrari employed during the Schumacher era, or during Alonso’s partnership with Massa, the 31-year-old Spaniard might be a triple champion by now.

Ferrari chairman Luca Di Montezemolo used to tell reporters, when asked about the chance of Vettel joining Alonso, that there was no space for “two roosters in the same hen house”.

That policy has now been ripped up. How much they have to crow about next season is an open question but one that will be fascinating to watch. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.


  • ku

    Has the hiring of raikkonen really changed Ferraris policy? Why don’t we wait and see, how the situation plays out next season.

  • real LOTUS is the GREEN one

    “With Alonso and Raikkonen as teammates Ferrari have created a F1 super team”

    …yes, and this is exactly what they never wanted to do!

    …ma siete veramente degli scemi, mamma mia! :-)

  • JPSmoove

    No, Ferrari has not created a super-team and this is why. A combination of RB, rules changes and the focus on tires and aero have made the car and how the car does on tires much more of factor than the drivers. In addition, the combination of the engine changes for next year throw things up in the air even more. With that said, Ferrari now have the best team in F1, but I would not characterize Alonzo and Kimi as a super team. They might become one if they have the car to dominate like RB does. This might also be the case for Mercedes as well. Lewis and Rosberg are pretty dynamic and the funds and cars to prove themselves super.

  • Butterfly

    JPSmoove:

    You don’t have to go that far to argue against this pairing. Alonso drives anything with wheels, and if Kimi can do the same, then you have a super-team.

    I used to say Kimi is mega like Alonso and Hamilton, but after thinking about 2008 and 2009 until Hungary, when Massa was getting better results, I’m starting to think it’s just going to be another Massa if the 2014 Ferrari is bad.

    If the 2014 Ferrari is a fast car and easy to drive, then these two will wipe the floor with the rest of the field, Newey or not.

    Can’t wait for 2014.

  • Zala

    Fernando is faster than you’, Kimi Raikkonen is not going to move out of the way.

    He’s going to radio back and say ‘So why is he behind me, then, if he’s faster than me?’And a few expletives along the way. 

    Hahaha!!:-)

  • Forza Ferrari

    Yes, Ferrari has definitely created a super team (it’s like Senna and Prost in Mclaren) and all we need now is a very fast and reliable car for next season. Then Ferrari will slaughter the Red Bull for sure. Amazing drivers like Alonso and Raikkonen driving a car designed by Rory Byrne, James Allison and Pat Fry…this is an awesome combination, no about it! As a Ferrari fan I’m so glad to see that Ferrari is taking such drastic measures and doing everything they can to finally decapitate the Red Bull. Re-hiring Raikkonen and making all these structural changes show exactly how much Ferrari wants to get back on top of F1 and that’s simply fantastic.

  • Lol

    Pretty funny when it was expected for Kimi to go to RBR, Alonso fans were saying how Kimi isnt even that good and if Vettel beat him it would not prove anything.

    Now Kimi is teaming up with Alonso suddenly the ALonso fans or praise Kimi as a great driver or they run away scared.

  • Butterfly

    Man, you trolls all have stupid aliases. Lol? Zala?

    What the f{uc}k is Zala suppose to mean?

  • Zala

    I just find the lines funny. That’s all. It’s nota big deal.

  • Saša

    2014. is year to watch Formula 1.

    Trust me on this.

    I bet on Mercedes-Ferrari fight.
    Next year will be all about engine.

    Forget aero when engine goes up in smoke.

    Who made more reliable engine will win the championship.

  • the fan

    there’s just too much fortune tellers on this site. going as far as defining ferrari not as a superteam. you put 2 world champions in there and not define it as a superteam? for the love of God, you people sure make things complicated. funny as hell

  • lawl

    @Butt

    I remember some post last year about you writing “Kimi is as bad as Vettel, nowhere near alonso, he won by pure luck (after winning some race, dont remember)”. Now “I used to say Kimi is mega like Alonso and Hamilton”.

    Liar poser trolls, liar poser retarded trolls everywhere.

    I cant wait to see Kimi wiping that spaintard a** at once so stupid girls stop writing bs here.

  • Butterfly

    lawl:

    Sorry, mate, but I have always considered Kimi top-class. If you read some crap about him signd Butterfly, then it wasn’t me.

    But I am now thinking he may be no better than Felipe, which is to say Felipe is top class, yet Alonso wiped the floor with him four years in a row.

    Hope that clears it up.

  • KC

    “Super team”? Do they get a cool nickname, like “The Avengers”? Kimi is already “The Iceman” – will Alonso be “The Flash”?

    People need to take a deep breath and engage their brains. Vettel is beating both Alonso and Raikkonen pretty handily this year. He beat them both last year as well. Being on the same team will not magically make Nando or Kimi any better drivers than they are right now. They will have a slightly better shot at the WCC next year and that’s about as far as it goes.

  • Psych4191

    @Butterfly

    On Massa performing better – Ferrari had no #1 until Massa started to do a little better in 2008, if you remember, in the early part of the year they were behind Raikkonen. In 2009 the car wasn’t good enough to do anything, so they didn’t really have any team orders. It was more “Don’t be an embarrassment.”

    Also, Massa was a hell of a driver from 2006-2009. Having a spring to the face would slow everyone down.

  • Butterfly

    Psych4191:

    I think the spring had no influence on his performance, but I understand why some people refuse to accept that Alonso is that much better.

    What are you people going to say when Raikkonen does the same? Is it his age, is it the parties, what is it?

  • YOU ARE A SHAME!!! and YOU’RE A FARCE

    and YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND NOTHING OF F1.
    real LOTUS is the GREEN one
    Stop spitting your lies on Ferrari and stop moaning of Italy and italian people in your comments please. If you don’t like Ferrari stop talking about it, and talk instead of what you like. You not even have the courage to answer me (write in italian, aren’t you italian?). Ferrari is an italian excellence famous all over the world and who the hell are you instead?
    SHAME SHAME SHAME ON YOU!!!

  • YOU ARE A SHAME!!! and YOU’RE A FARCE

    Qui l’unico scemo sei tu che butti merda sul tuo paese, se è vero quello che dici di essere

  • YOU ARE A SHAME!!! and YOU’RE A FARCE

    Forza Ferrari Viva l’Italia

  • Tamburello_1994

    @ Psych4191

    It’s widely excepted everywhere that Felipe hasn’t been the same since he was injured back in 2009. You know it, I know it, EVERYONE knows it. So why debate someone who known to contradict themselves left right and centre to fit the meme of the week? You’ve been on this board long enough to know that.

    It’s not to say Felipe isn’t a capable pilot anymore. I give him credit to come back and show as well as he has. But it’s clear and obvious for all to see he’s not the same racer who was “this close” to winning a championship for himself. An OBJECTIVE look at his statistics pre and post accident delineate that fact clearly.

    He’s quite lucky (and grateful) Ferrari stuck in with him as long as they did.

  • Nemo Nobody

    @ YOU ARE A SHAME!!! and YOU’RE A FARCE

    Hey dude! “real LOTUS is the GREEN one” was just complaining about ferrari latest form. They did take some bad decisions maybe loosing a WDC they had in the bag. As a ferrari fan he is frustrated and wants his team to up his game.
    You don’t seem to understand much for other people comments and I’m sure you are among the uneducated ones booing Vettel last Sunday…

  • Tamburello_1994

    This just in:

    Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali says both Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will start on an equal footing and have to earn number one status at the team next season.

    Could be a bloodbath shaping up here folks.

    STAY TUNED.

  • Tamburello_1994

    And this nugget from espnf1:

    Break from the norm

    The real unknown now is what happens to Alonso. He moved to Ferrari amid much fanfare in search of more world titles, having failed to add to his back-to-back successes at Renault. However, having been Ferrari’s undisputed leader since 2010, suddenly there is a threat. Normally you would expect anyone coming in alongside Alonso to have a hard time getting the same backing from team, but there’s a special affiliation with Raikkonen as he has achieved what Alonso hasn’t: won the world championship in a Ferrari.

  • Spartacus

    Alonso’s toys will be out the pram again. His team mate won’t be his stooge. And won’t react to his antics either. He’s far too cool for that.

    Alonso won’t see out his Ferrari contract.

  • Branch

    Kimi is after the money. He doesn’t care much about winning or championships. He is the fastest man on the planet, but he doesn’t focus enough to remain serious all the way. He doesn’t participate for an input to develop the car. He just want to be in a fast car. He gets sick in the simulator. Weird enough his favorite car was the Ferrari 2009. He gets board faster than his car, day dream, blank out while racing & he needs to be reminded what where & when.

    Ferrari loves to have Kimi on board because he is the most popular driver at the moment. More fans & more sales. And I assure you if Ferrari maintains the same level of its current performance, Kimi will be out performed by Alonso & will be name Kimassa.

    Because Alonso & Hamilton where killing each other in 2007, And Massa allowed Kimi to pass him in Brazil, Kimi won WDC mathematically. Ferrari knows very well Alonso is the serious one & has the upper hand.
    Cheers Kimi. Its time to beat Alonso.

  • Dr. Azlan

    Ferrari listened to Massa because Kimi was the new guy. This time he is still the new guy compared to Alonso. So hopefully he gets the car that will suit him well.

  • Dear Nemo Nobody

    Let me tell you just few things in my poor english. Unfortunately I wasn’t at Monza last Sunday, but even if I had been there you can be sure that i didn’t be among those people. Let me tell you that the booes at Monza is a thing absolutely bad and wrong, and be sure that many italians think like this. But let me tell you that, at the end, the boos didn’t kill no one ever, and that at Monza they are part of the game. The world is not only sparkling and smiles. The drivers must do accept this form of psychological pressure and they should “fare buon viso a cattivo gioco” put a good face on a bad game. Moreover the atmosphere and the commitment of the Tifosi at Monza is something hard to explain. You can see the difference to be a fan of F1 like you can see in Monza and in other few places compared to the indifference you can see in many new place where today F1 shows. Tell me what is better for you. Anyway i have only criticised the tone of certain comments, certainly i do not want that anyone in the world thinks like me.
    Forza Ferrari forever.

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