Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has said that he is not concerned about the seemingly volatile line-up of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in 2014, believing that both drivers will put the common team goal ahead of any personal grudges they may wish to settle.
Traditionally, the team has worked with an implied ‘number one’ driver who is supported by a ‘number two’. Both Alonso and Raikkonen have enjoyed number one status within the team over the past seven years with Felipe Massa serving as their understudies. However, Raikkonen will join the team in 2014 after a five-year absence, and many have questioned this move following Alonso’s dislike for a too rivalrous teammate, as proven by his one-year stint at McLaren when he and Lewis Hamilton locked horns. In di Montezemolo’s eyes though, there is no such problem.
“Whoever has the honour and responsibility of driving for Ferrari must think of the team first and foremost and not of himself,” he explained to RAI. “None of our drivers could ever hurt the other one.”
di Montezemolo went on to explain that the decision to re-hire Raikkonen was made simple by the lingering affection for the Finn following his first stint at Maranello.
“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,” he explained. “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.”
Of course, time will tell whether or not the two drivers will work together amicably, but paddock rumors continue to circulate suggesting that Alonso could be tempted by a move to McLaren in 2015 when Honda returns to the sport as an engine supplier. The Spaniard has been quick to deny this in the past, but the team will need to provide him with a better car in 2014 if he is to challenge for his first world championship since 2006 next season.