Vergne: Raikkonen and Alonso could be “a potential time bomb”

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Ferrari’s new driving tandem of Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso are two former World Champions that have been long used to being the top dogs on their team. In the mind of Jean-Eric Vergne, that could lead to trouble for the Scuderia.

The Toro Rosso racer, who is preparing for a battle against Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat next season, told Italian publication Corrierre dello Sport that while he expects Ferrari to be in the thick of the title race in 2014, he’s interested to see if Raikkonen and Alonso can really work together.

“I am convinced Fernando will be one of the championship candidates, but I’m very interested to see how it will work with Kimi as a team mate at Ferrari,” he told CdS. “Both Kimi and Fernando are very fast but the pair together could be a potential time bomb.”

Alonso recently noted to a Brazilian publication the “rumors” about Raikkonen being difficult to work with, although he also emphasized the importance of having a stronger car than he’s gotten in recent years – saying that should Ferrari deliver a championship-caliber ride, “the atmosphere in the team will be great.”

Vergne may be right in his belief that there may be some difficulty along the way. However, one wonders if his comments have another purpose: Namely, stirring the pot.

After all, those comments are aimed at one of the key rivals of Toro Rosso’s senior team, reigning champs Red Bull Racing – whom Vergne believes will continue their dominance of F1 even with the new technical regulations that are set to debut in the coming year.

“I don’t really expect to see any major changes in Formula 1, even though there will be a number of massive changes in F1’s rules,” he also said to CdS. “I expect to see Red Bull in front of Ferrari again next season to be honest.”

Hamilton: Abu Dhabi ‘the last race with good-looking cars’ in F1

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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.

Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.

Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.

“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.

“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”

Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.

“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.

“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”