20 September 2013
Singapore Grand Prix: You can always learn from team-mates, admits Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says that he expects to see new things when he partners Fernando Alonso at Ferrari - but won't necessarily copy them.
Kimi Raikkonen is not the sort of driver to be fazed by the man he is teamed with, and this appears to be the case despite the daunting prospect of lining up alongside Fernando Alonso at Ferrari in 2014.
The Maranello 'dream team' was confirmed in the build-up to this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix and, provided the Scuderia produces a car worthy of its drivers' talents, could be the pairing to take the fight to Red Bull, particularly as the reigning three-time champion is heading into 2014 with its own revised partnership following Mark Webber's decision to retire from F1.
Whilst there have been dissenting voices, suggesting that the Alonso-Raikkonen pairing is doomed to failure, especially in the light of the Spaniard's fractious 2007 season under pressure from a rookie Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, Raikkonen maintains the belief that the two can get along for the common good of Ferrari.
“I don't really worry about it,” he insisted as he met the press for the first time since the deal was announced, “I've never worked with Alonso, [although] I obviously know him from racing, but I'm sure it will be fine.
“For sure, you always learn from different team-mates; everyone does different things. Maybe they do something better than you but, often, there are a lot of things that only suit one guy and it doesn't work if you try to do the same thing for yourself, it's not going to work.
“I know the team, I know the people. Like I said, I have no worries to go there and have something that wouldn't work.”
Alonso and Raikkonen may have remained rivals had Lotus stumped up the salary the Finn had expected to receive in 2013, and he admits that, had there not been the money issue, he would have been happy to stay at Enstone.
“I knew that my contract will end at the end of this year so, obviously, I had to make some kind of decision what to do for next year and now it's been done,” he said, “There was a lot of things [that could have been done to keep me] and, for sure, they know what it is. It's hard to say which way it would have gone if that would have had happened, but the deal's done now and I'm very happy with the new deal.”
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