Raikkonen to Ferrari: 2013 News of the Year
22 December, 2013
In September, when Kimi Raikkonen was confirmed as a Ferrari driver for 2013 there was a collective gasp of disbelief from the billions of F1 fans around the globe. After all this was the Iceman whom they had paid a substantial amount of money to leave the team at the end of 2009 to make way for Fernando Alonso. Yet, they will soon be teammates!
Raikkonen’s return to Ferrari gulped up the headlines, and for obvious reasons this was no surprise as the sound bites after the fallout in 2009 hardly gave a hint of any possibility of reunification. Quite the contrary in fact, as Raikkonen once declared, “I don’t miss anyone [at Ferrari]. To me, leaving there was a relief. The situation could have been better, but it’s the past and what is done cannot be reversed.”
Prior to the 2014 deal, the Finn said of his memories at Maranello, “Neither good nor bad [memories]. I won a title with them and had some good times. I am satisfied with the three years I spent there. [But] things don’t last long if you’re working somewhere and the relations are not good.”
Fast forward just a half dozen months and Raikkonen’s tune has changed dramatically, “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years. I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.”
The signing prompted numerous questions and even more speculation; Was Luca di Montezemolo exacting revenge on Alonso for his disparaging remarks about the team? Has Alonso lost the power struggle within Maranello? Will Alonso and Raikkonen gel? Is the signing of two of the most experienced drivers in F1 a masterstroke, or a huge mistake?
All these questions, and no doubt many more, only add spice to what will be a potentially explosive partnership with Alonso – a concoction of fire and ice which will be an intriguing sideshow to the season, or as one of their rivals said recently: “This is a Ferrari time bomb.”
All the questions will be answered in what is set to be the sub-plot to the story of the 2014 season. However, the news broke in September and no news was bigger during the eight months before or the four months since.
Subbed by AJN.