Ecclestone: Alonso-Raikkonen a classic combination, but Ferrari needs a good car

Bernie Ecclestone with Luca di Montezemolo

Bernie Ecclestone with Luca di Montezemolo

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is fully behind Ferrari’s controversial driver pairing for the 2014 season, but warns that the Maranello team will need to build strong car for their World Champion drivers.

Some – even Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo – believe pitting former undisputed ‘number one’ Fernando Alonso against the team’s 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen is a bold risk.

“But I have been here since the early 70s,” the Italian said recently, “and I know that risk is something you have to live with in Formula 1.”

Ecclestone, Formula 1’s chief executive, usually likes to see the sport’s top drivers spread across the most competitive teams.

Bernie Ecclestone with Fernando Alonso

Bernie Ecclestone with Fernando Alonso

But he thinks Alonso versus Raikkonen at Ferrari, Formula 1’s most famous team, will be “fun”.

“I thought Ferrari would win the title in 2013,” the 83-year-old Briton told Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, “and I cannot explain why they were not competitive.

“Alonso, in any case, drove well,” he added.

Ecclestone answered “yes” when asked if the Spaniard was right to criticise the Maranello based team mid-season.

But that criticism earned him a rebuke, and many believe Ferrari’s decision to replace Alonso’s preferred teammate Felipe Massa with Finn Raikkonen for 2014 was part of a shift away from the Spaniard.

Kimi Raikkonen with Bernie Ecclestone

Kimi Raikkonen with Bernie Ecclestone

“Now the dust has settled,” Ecclestone explained, “and we will see a different Ferrari in 2014.

“Alonso-Raikkonen is a classic combination that Enzo Ferrari would have liked to see. It will be fun with those two.

“If Kimi drives as he did many times in 2013, it will stimulate Alonso, but what Ferrari really needs is a good car. Otherwise there is nothing to talk about,” he added.

Ecclestone has said that the team with the best all-new V6 engine will win the 2014 title, but he also thinks “luck” will play a big role.

“There is no guarantee that the best driver will win the title,” he insisted. “The title will be for the luckiest one. At the moment I have no favourite.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • Matthew

    Bernie is right (for once!). Ferrari probably do have the strongest driver line-up out of all the teams, but if they haven’t got the Stallion to power themselves to victory… it’s basically worthless.

  • Spartacus

    If Kimi does better than Alonso expect Alonso to throw the toys out the pram! Alonso doesn’t do well with a competitive team mate.

    But the problem for 2014 is if someone turns up with a duff engine it’s over before it starts for them. They’ll have to spend many millions just trying to get competitive for mid-season never mind making a serious attempt at a championship.

    Double points in the last race really just makes the championship a bit too artificial; worthless. It’s bad enough that F1 needs KERS an DRS to make it exciting; adding this gimmick is a step too far.

  • Taskmaster

    The point about the two drivers being a classic duo is right, hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps not as edgy at the Prost/Senna pairing, but interesting. Who knows where the engine thing falls out. The works teams may have the upper hand. If they focus so much on their perception of advantage in the integration of engine/chassis they flub the requisite coordination of the rest of the car (aero, brakes, balance, etc…), their advantage could actually turn out to be a liability. In 2014, the real story will not be the increasingly phony “racing” (read: motor-sport entertainment and lotto series), it will be how the new power system rules plays out. KERS was nothing compared to this mess, and that took 3 years before it was sorted to its current state of good-enough.

  • McLarenfan

    I remember Anthony Davidson saying much the same thing with the new “Power units”. In Le Mans they have a similar engine coupled to a microwave and as soon as you get any sort of failure you might as well park up as your race is over so even if you had 2 drivers who can give you 4 tenths per lap over the capabilities of the car you are screwed, nailed to a DNF.

  • Zombie Jebus

    I couldn’t care less about Ferrari or Bernie today.

  • stoner

    kimi will be crushed by alonso. Just look how badly kimi was beaten despite having a faster car!

  • matthew

    @Matthew (1st poster)

    I’m sure us having the same posting name is a coincidence, but will you please change it as I was here first?

  • Hawk

    @the real Matthew
    Welcome to the world. Of impostors posting. No pun intended.

  • fools

    Yet you cared enough to comment. smh

  • SteveisGreat

    If what you say is true, Alonso and Raikkonen may dangerous! 😛

    Kimi will squash Alonso without doing any prep work or using the simulator or crying foul. Alonso will be beaten by Kimi despite training like Rocky in Rocky IV, testing the engine in a La Ferrari and using the simulator throughout the offseason, often sleeping on a small cot in Maranello between test sessions. He’ll struggle to grasp how this is possible given his awesome talent, then retire and go cycling while Santander returns to Mclaren, lol.

  • LOL

    Except kimi is now ferraris bitc h and will do what hes told. I wonder how the spoiled brat will react to actually working?

  • Zombie Jebus

    Kimi doesn’t need to work; he already has money, fame, and a Ferrari title – lol. Just give a him a decent car and watch him take the #1 t-bar from the little bull. This will be the only thing worth watching in the 2014 Penis Nosed F1 Forgot Itself season.

  • stoner

    @ THE FAKE stoner
    get a life you douche , you sound like a nando fanboy,
    these days even alonslow fanboys are using dirty tricks. Alonso and his fans are both showing signs of scumbagness, in 2014 fake samurai aka Alonso will be demolished. HO HO HO !!!

    the real

  • Donna

    “The title will be for the luckiest one.” Well, that hardly seems right. When did dedication, hard work & skill stop counting for something?

  • DickDastardly

    it will be a very tight battle between the 2, but kimi goes through spells of not being happy within the car more than alonso, if this happens i expect alonso to beat him soundly but whenever kimi is happy in the car i expect them to be more or less the same. cast your mind back to 2008 kimi vs massa and you will see that massa was soundly beating kimi when kimi was struggling with the car, this MAY or may not show its ugly head again in 2014 but if it does then expect fans and media to be like “its alonso outperforming the car” “hes a true warrior” blah blah blah, if any of those statements were true then how come he was beaten by a rookie in 2007, and lets face it alonso is not the best qualifier out there, the fact is alonso has just looked good because massa has underperformed. LH has had to adapt to a new car last season which people within merc were saying is a transition year for LH so there will be LH SV and kimi challenging alonso this year so we will now see how good alonso really is. i have said what i think and i half expect it to happen (HALF EXPECT) anything can happen in racing but my points are valid

  • O’Ferrari

    Your logic is hard to fault, DickDastardly.

    But u forgot about maldonado…

  • IowaF1fan

    I hope it works well for all, but Ferrari must get the car better. Im hopeful for the gap to close between Red Bull and Ferrari and a good battle