Ferrari’s decision to axe Felipe Massa and re-hire Kimi Raikkonen to replace him alongside Fernando Aloso is the major talking point as the Formula 1 circus sets up camp in Singapore. Even Jenson Button has wondered whether Ferrari would really be a stronger team next season.
Button, who formed part of Formula 1’s most recent team of champions with Lewis Hamilton at McLaren until the end of last season when Hamilton moved to Mercedes, was keen to see how the new Ferrari pairing got on.
“It’s going to be an interesting atmosphere between those two especially if Kimi is as quick as Fernando,” the Briton told reporters.
“If Kimi starts out-qualifying Fernando that would be a big one because Fernando is not the quickest guy but as a package he’s exceptional, his race pace, he’s very good at thinking about situations so he’s going to be a tough guy to beat for Kimi.
“It’s fun for us watching from the outside you know, [but] does it make the team stronger? I personally don’t think it does,” added the 2009 World Champion.
Massa has been inconsistent since he came back from a life-threatening crash at the Hungarian Grand Prix in 2009 and has not won for Ferrari since he almost took the championship at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Raikkonen has enjoyed a record run in the points, which ended last month in Belgium, since returning to F1 with Lotus in 2012 after a two-year absence.
His pairing with Alonso, a double world champion, promises points but also fireworks.
Button’s McLaren team mate Sergio Perez expected them to be strong rivals for the other teams, however.
“I think it will be very interesting for all of us to see how they get on, both of them,” he told Reuters. “Looking forward I think Fernando and Kimi will be a tough couple to beat.” (Reuters)
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