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Alonso backs Raikkonen choice

19 September 2013

Fernando Alonso says he feels Kimi Raikkonen was the right choice for Ferrari after it decided to replace Felipe Massa for the 2014 season.

Raikkonen will rejoin the team that took him to the 2007 title on a two-year deal next year as Ferrari seeks to take the fight to Red Bull in the title race.

Alonso had been a staunch supporter of Massa when rumours suggested that the Brazilian's drive was at risk, but the two-time champion said Ferrari had made the right call in signing Raikkonen when the decision was made to let Massa go.

“I was always kept informed about the team's movements and when they decided it was better to replace Felipe, they asked for my opinion,” he said. “I said that Kimi was the best there was on the market, especially when there are so many changes coming in next year.

“His experience will be vital when we are developing the car and I'm happy with the decision the team has taken.”

Alonso also said he didn't imagine that there would be any issues from working alongside Raikkonen next year, despite some expressing concern over whether the pair would be able to work together.

“My motivation will stay the same and that is to do my best all the time,” he said. “I don't think anyone can push me more than I push myself now.

“We are two world champions but that will not make a difference to me. People keep saying things but it was the same with Felipe when I joined Ferrari. He had been here for a number of years and people said it would be difficult but he is now one of the best friends I have.

“I also consider him to be like a world champion and when he crossed the line in 2008, he was a champion. Felipe is no rookie driver and next year, I think it will be the same.”


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