16 September 2013
Gene: Raikkonen return ‘good news’
Marc Gene admits that Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari is a boost even as the 2013 line-up attempts to overturn Red Bull's championship advantage.
Marc Gene has welcomed Kimi Raikkonen's return to Ferrari, claiming that his tandem with Fernando Alonso will make the Scuderia a formidable opponent.
The team's 'other' Spaniard was on demonstration duty at the weekend, piloting an F10 over two days at the Rudskogen MotorFestival in Norway but, given the country's proximity to Finland, Raikkonen was a popular topic of conversation, having been confirmed as a 2014 Ferrari driver just days earlier.
“I want to start by saying how important Felipe [Massa] has been to the history of our team, but I can also say that Kimi's return is good news,” Gene admitted, “Along with Fernando, they will make a very strong and experienced pairing, the only one on the grid made up of two world champions. The team knows Kimi well and he knows the team too: I am sure he will be able to do a very good job with us as from next year.”
With Red Bull seemingly heading to a fourth straight title double, possibly even before the final race of the season in Brazil, Gene also conceded that 2013 had not gone to plan for the Prancing Horse.
“We know that the situation in both championships is not what we were hoping for,” he said, “but we are also well aware that, in F1, the situation can change very quickly.
“We are a significant way behind in both classifications, but we are definitely not throwing in the towel. We had a very good start to the season, but then, in the early part of the summer, we suffered a bit in terms of car development and our rivals moved ahead of us. In the last two races, the situation improved and, if this improvement is confirmed in Singapore, a very different track to Spa or Monza, then we can really be in the fight all the way to the end.”
Over 22,000 spectators watched the first demonstration of a Ferrari F1 car on Norwegian soil. Gene did 115 kilometres over two days, despite the weekend being affected by rain.
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