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GP Week : Issue 190
EDITOR: Kate Walker firstname.lastname@example.org MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott F1 NEWS EDITOR Abhishek Takle TECHNICAL EDITOR Paolo Filisetti RACE EDITOR Trent Price CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leigh O'Gorman BUSINESS EDITOR Caroline Reid PRODUCTION ARTIST Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Daniel Kalisz PUBLISHER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED By: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK Kimi Raikkonen will return to Ferrari next year alongside Fernando Alonso in a move that will create what will arguably be the most potent driver combination on the grid, setting up the mouth-watering prospect of watching two top drivers slugging it out in what promises to be an intriguing intra-team battle. Raikkonen – who was paid by the team to not drive in 2010 so he could make way for Alonso – will replace Brazilian Felipe Massa with whom the Scuderia seems to have lost its patience after several seasons of middling and inconsistent results. “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” Raikkonen, who joins Ferrari on a two-year deal, said in a statement issued by the team. “I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable.” Ferrari’s signing of Raikkonen comes at a time when relations between the team and Alonso, its star driver, appear to be strained as the double world champion has grown increasingly frustrated at not having added to his tally of titles. Alonso last won the title in 2006 with Renault and since joining Ferrari in 2010, the Spaniard has narrowly missed out on the title twice thanks largely to a car that hasn’t been able to match the Adrian Newey-designed Red Bull which has allowed rival Sebastian Vettel to win three titles on the trot. With Vettel looking certain to be on his way to a fourth straight title, the pressure to deliver has ramped up and Alonso’s frustrations have spilled over into the public domain. In an unprecedented move, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo publicly rebuked his driver for comments the Spaniard made to the press apparently criticising the car. Alonso has enjoyed number one status at the team, which traditionally tends to throw all its weight behind its lead driver’s championship charge, and – as his time at McLaren alongside then rookie Lewis Hamilton proved – the 32-year-old has a history of not coping well with a teammate who can challenge or beat him. Indeed, Alonso had been pushing Ferrari to retain Massa – whose poor run of results had left the team incapable of mounting a serious constructors’ title charge – and Raikkonen’s signing shows the Maranello-based squad has put its interests ahead of Alonso’s. The move could well be intended to show Alonso who runs the show and might even be a defensive manoeuvre aimed at protecting Maranello should the increasingly frustrated Spaniard depart. But team principal Stefano Domenicali has denied it is an “anti-Alonso” move. “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,” Domenicali said. ALONSO v RAIKKONEN: PRANCING FORCES F1 >>> nEWs 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: