• Ferrari

Raikkonen 'much loved' by Ferrari - Montezemolo

ESPN Staff
November 27, 2013 « Force India waiting on Lotus driver announcement | Brawn's Mercedes exit confirmed »
Luca di Montezemolo is sure Fernando Alonso will work well with Kimi Raikkonen © Sutton Images
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Luca di Montezmolo believes Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will be successful as a driver pairing because Raikkonen is "much loved" at Ferrari.

Raikkonen returns to the team with which he won his only world championship next season, joining Alonso in a pairing of two of the strongest drivers on the grid. While such a line-up is a break from Ferrari's traditional approach of a clear number one driver, Montezemolo told RAI Uno that he expects the two drivers to work together to bring the team success.

"Whoever has the honour and responsibility of driving for Ferrari must think of the team first and foremost and not of himself," Montezemolo said. "None of our drivers could ever hurt the other one. Alonso is maybe the strongest race driver I've ever met, even if it is always difficult to make comparisons with the past. We have taken Raikkonen back for his experience, for what he has done over the past two years and because he is much loved inside and outside the team. I was very pleased to see the enthusiasm that greeted the news of his return, again both internally and externally. I am sure they will help one another."

On the subject of Sebastian Vettel, Montezemolo was willing to hint the door is open for him to join Ferrari in future.

"Better than [Ayrton] Senna? Ecclestone says what suits him but there is no doubt he is a great driver. He is a serious young man who has won a lot and therefore he deserves respect. I congratulate him and Red Bull. Vettel at Ferrari? Who knows what the future holds? But for now, drivers are definitely not a problem for us."

Away from drivers, Montezemolo was also had some words for FIA president Jean Todt and Bernie Ecclestone.

"Todt will be reconfirmed and I expect strong changes, because for too many years the Federation has always been the same and, as in everything, a change is required. Having said that, a strong sporting authority is always a priority for Ferrari. Ecclestone sees Horner as his successor? As the years go by, he more and more enjoys making jokes and I'm happy he still has the desire to do so…"

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