Alonso: Raikkonen “an important asset”

Fernando Alonso believes Kimi Raikkonen will be an important asset to Ferrari when he rejoins the team for the 2014 season.World © Octane Photographic Ltd.

The Finn, who is the last driver to win a drivers’ title for the Scuderia after taking the crown in 2007, is replacing Felipe Massa, who will move to Williams.

Despite saying Raikkonen is no faster than Massa in the past; Alonso insists that he rated him very highly. “There is a lot of misinformation about my new team-mate. You read things I said that I didn’t actually say. I think he can be an important asset to the team next year,” he told reporters during a sponsor event in Madrid.

“Between Kimi and I, with 12 years of experience [each], that can help us develop the car in certain aspects that are new. I can’t give an opinion about Kimi because I don’t know him. There are others who can give opinions about others without knowing them, but I can’t. And having not shared a team with him, or having never spent more than 10 minutes with him, I can’t say what he’s like or who he is.

He added: “With Felipe I shared four years and he was a good person, and we worked for Ferrari together in an efficient and professional way. I think Kimi will be the same, but it’s hard to give an opinion now.

“It’s important that we work together and that a red car, whichever it is, crosses the finish line first.”

2013 was a disappointing season for Ferrari, but the Spaniard feels there is reason to be confident about next year: “This year we had a sad or disastrous year, according to some people. I think the reason to be more optimistic next year is that I’m at Ferrari, which is a top team which can do great things.”

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

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