Kimi Raikkonen now a better F1 driver than in 2009 - Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen is returning to Ferrari a better driver than when he left at the end of 2009, reckons his new team boss Stefano Domenicali

Kimi Raikkonen now a better F1 driver than in 2009 - Ferrari

Rather than be worried about Raikkonen's cool personality and lack of technical leadership that proved to be a contributing factor in him being dropped for 2010, Domenicali has said that things are different now.

And the team had been reassured about the progress Raikkonen had made on the technical front by its new chassis technical chief James Allison, who worked with the former world champion at Lotus.

"We worked with Kimi for three years from 2007 to 2009 and we never had a problem," Domenicali told the Ferrari website regarding doubts about Raikkonen's character.

"Sure, everyone has their own ways and you can't expect a Finn to start telling jokes in Italian or playing the clown.

"Honestly, I think the combination of Fernando's expressive and passionate Latin character and the cool style, to call it that, of someone like Kimi, seems to appeal to many, including the youngsters. And our partners are also in agreement with this.

"As for the technical side of things, not only do we know full well how much Kimi can contribute at an important time like this, when the technical framework is changing so significantly, but we also have first hand information from James Allison, as to how much the Finn has also progressed in this area over the past two years."

Ferrari's decision to put two world champions alongside each other for the first time in its modern era has already prompted questions about the political tensions it could cause.

Earlier this year, speaking about the possibility of Sebastian Vettel being drafted in alongside Fernando Alonso in the future, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo ruled out the team ever wanting 'two roosters in the same henhouse'.

Domenicali is calm about the matter though, insisting the team can handle the situation.

"I would only say that the combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in Formula 1, in terms of talent, experience, competitive spirit and the ability to move car development forward," he said.

"As for the "poultry" question, it brings to mind football fans who are scared of rival teams because they have so many strong forwards and so they hope they will fight each other for the ball.

"For anyone thinking that the choice of Kimi is somehow an anti-Alonso choice, I can put their minds at rest.

"At Ferrari, everyone knows the interests of the team come first and only then those of the individual.

"Fernando is a key asset for this team and he will be for a long time.

"I'm sure he is the first to be happy with a choice made to strengthen the group, because he is too intelligent not to realise that a stronger team can only be an advantage."

shares
comments
Lotus not bitter about Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari F1 switch

Previous article

Lotus not bitter about Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari F1 switch

Next article

Don't forget how good Massa was

Don't forget how good Massa was
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021