Ferrari: Driver choice not anti-Alonso
12 September 2013 – Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali says Fernando Alonso should not fear the impending arrival of Kimi Räikkönen, attempting to ease fears over the outfit's decision to pair two World Champions for the first time since 1953.
After weeks of speculation, it was finally announced on Wednesday that Räikkönen will return to Ferrari in 2014. The 33-year-old Finn formerly drove for the famous Italian marque between 2007 and 2009, and remains its most recent World Champion.
But despite Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo last year stating that he did not want "two roosters in the same hen house" in future campaigns, Domenicali said Alonso will understand the decision, and described the Spaniard as a "key asset."
"Nothing will change in the way the team is run," Domenicali said on the official Ferrari website. "Since the world began, our drivers have started on equal terms. It's always been that way and always will. Then, during the course of the season, if the situation is such that one driver can help the other based on the points table, it's logical and right that it should happen. It's happened in the past and will happen in the future, as all drivers who have driven a Ferrari have demonstrated."
He added: "For anyone thinking that 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 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."
Domenicali believes that Ferrari now holds the strongest 2014 driver line-up: "The combination of Fernando and Kimi is the best one could have today in F1, in terms of talent, experience, competitive spirit and the ability to move car development forward."