Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are by far the most experienced driver pairing in Formula 1, with 411 grand prix starts between, but the the jury is out whether together they will make Ferrari the strongest team in Formula 1. The first steps in proving or disproving this were taken with the launch of the team’s 2014 car – the F14T.
Raikkonen, who won the team’s last F1 world title in 2007, said, “Will we be the strongest team? I hope we are going to be obviously… I think we will both try very hard and we both want to win. But time will tell what will happen and if we can bring the championship back to Ferrari, but I would say there is a lot of other things, especially with the new rules. We are more than capable, both of us, to be up there and fighting for championships.”
Much has been written about the partnering of Alonso and Raikkonen, but only the new season will reveal if the decision was a masterstroke by the Maranello bosses or a disaster.
Whatever the case Alonso believes if the team delivers a decent car then the the two drivers have to make the most of it, “Kimi and me as a team should be quite strong on paper because we had success in the past in Formula One. But you need to discover every year and we start from zero. If we do well we will have a very strong team and we can deliver some good results for Ferrari. If we don’t do well as a team some other teams will then have the best pair of drivers. It’s up to us to deliver and do a good job.”
Alonso last won a world title back in 2006 with renault, this is now his fifth season with Ferrari which the Spaniard believes could be a good omen as history has been good to Ferrari drivers in their fifth year with the outfit.
“Schumacher won in his fifth year with Ferrari. I’m in my fifth year now so hopefully I can repeat some of the success he had. Obviously in the last four years we had some opportunities. In 2010 and 2012 we were very close to winning the championship. This year we will try again and hopefully, it will be a good one,” mused Alonso.
The 19 race season gets underway with the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, in Melbourne on 16 March. Ferrari and most of their rivals begin testing at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, starting on 28 January. (GP247)