Ferrari boss says Raikkonen's F1 comeback on par with Niki Lauda's

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says Kimi Raikkonen earned his return to the team because his Formula 1 comeback is on a par with three-time world champion Niki Lauda's

Ferrari boss says Raikkonen's F1 comeback on par with Niki Lauda's

Raikkonen was dropped by Ferrari to make way for Fernando Alonso at the end of an unsuccessful 2009 season.

The Finn, who was given a pay-off to end his contract early, then spent two years in the World Rally Championship before returning to F1 with Lotus.

He has since been a race-winner and title contender, a performance that di Montezemolo believes emulates Lauda - who walked away from the sport in late-1979 but returned with McLaren in '82 and was champion for a third time two years later.

"Raikkonen's case is identical to Lauda's," di Montezemolo told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.

"At some point, Niki too said 'enough' because he couldn't stand it anymore.

"I had talked about Kimi's twin brother because the driver racing for us wasn't the same one we had hired.

"The stop has done him well, he has made a great comeback, he has won and finished many races."

From the archive: why Raikkonen is walking away from F1

Di Montezemolo said Ferrari had been anxious that it did not end up regretting dropping long-time driver Felipe Massa, whose place Raikkonen is taking.

"I wanted a race driver who wouldn't make me regret Massa: here he is," di Montezemolo said.

"From Raikkonen I ask for victories, consistency, podiums. Alonso is the first in line in taking advantage from that.

"I'm happy he's back with us, Ferrari personnel were enthusiastic with the news because he had left good memories."

FERRARI 'NOT MASOCHISTS'

The president underlined that signing Raikkonen had not destabilised Alonso.

"We are not such masochists as to hire a race driver without informing Alonso," di Montezemolo said.

Raikkonen/Alonso 'will collide' - Massa

"Fernando has always been informed of the decision on Raikkonen, also because the alternative of a youngster, in a season as complex as 2014, wouldn't give us certainties.

"Nowadays Raikkonen is the strongest, together with Alonso, [Sebastian] Vettel and [Lewis] Hamilton.

"Alonso is the first one satisfied with his arrival."

Translation by Michele Lostia

shares
comments
Singapore GP: Mercedes preview quotes

Previous article

Singapore GP: Mercedes preview quotes

Next article

Pirelli reveals F1 tyre compounds for Korea, Japan and India

Pirelli reveals F1 tyre compounds for Korea, Japan and India
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021