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Raikkonen could beat Alonso - Montezemolo
Tuesday 17th September 2013, 16:58 by TF1T Staff
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has compared Kimi Raikkonen's return to Formula 1 similar to that of Niki Lauda's return when he later beat Alain Prost in 1984. The Italian even believes Raikkonen could achieve a similar feat be beating Fernando Alonso.
The Finn will return to Ferrari next season after agreeing a deal which sees him replace Felipe Massa.
Montezemolo - who wasn't keen on hiring Raikkonen a second time but was convinced by team principal Stefano Domenicali - believes the two-year break has been good for the former champion.
"Raikkonen is a case almost identical to that of Lauda. Niki also said 'enough' at one point because he was sick with Formula One," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I spoke of the twin brother of Kimi [in 2009 when we parted ways] because the driver we had then was not the same one we had hired [in 2007].
"The break has been good, he has returned to the top, won, and finished many races. I want a driver who will not make me regret losing [Felipe] Massa, and here he is. I want wins, consistent performances and podiums," he added.
"Alonso will be the first to benefit and I'm happy he [Raikkonen] is back among us; the Ferrari employees have welcomed the news because he left good memories. Returning to Lauda, when he returned with renewed energy he beat Prost to the title... "
The threat of an intra-team fight may loom, but Montezemolo isn't too concerned and says Alonso was aware of the deal before it was signed.
"We are not so masochistic as to hire a driver without informing Alonso. Fernando has always been aware of the choice of Raikkonen and also that the alternative of a young man gave us no certainties in the world championship. Raikkonen today is one of the strongest drivers in the sport, with Alonso, Vettel and Hamilton. Alonso was the first to be happy with his arrival."
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