A bright spot on Fernando Alonso’s 2014 Formula 1 season thus far is the fact that he is beating his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
The much vaunted rivalry between the two former champions was a big talking point of the pre-season, but Raikkonen emerged from the winter struggling with the handling of Ferrari’s new car.
But in Malaysia despite topping Alonso in all Free Practice sessions, the Finn was once again outqualified and outraced by his Spanish teammate.
“I would prefer to have won in Australia and Malaysia,” Alonso is quoted by Tuttosport. “But as long as you are in front of your teammate, you are doing something extra compared to the expectations of people.”
Speaking to Turun Sanomat newspaper, Raikkonen did not want to compare his current situation to 2009, when he also struggled in a Ferrari and was ousted at the end of the season.
“I have no desire to make comparisons like that,” he said, “and it doesn’t change anything anyway.
“For sure it has not been an ideal start, but we improved the car for Malaysia and the weekend started well, even if it finished badly,” said Raikkonen, whose race was affected by a clash with Kevin Magnussen.
“Without the accident I see no reason why I shouldn’t have done the same as Alonso,” he insisted.
Raikkonen is hoping for another improvement in Bahrain.
“We’re getting some new parts that should help me, at least that is the plan,” he said. “The front end should feel better.”
Meanwhile, Toto Wolff says that he expects Ferrari to eventually join Red Bull in chasing down Mercedes’ current advantage.
“I very much fear their (Red Bull’s) recovery on a technical level, it has been impressive,” he told Italy’s La Repubblica. “And I also fear Ferrari, of course.”
Told by the interviewer than he did well in delivering his final comment without laughing, Mercedes’ Wolff insisted: “I’m serious.” (GMM)
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