Fernando Alonso: Pundits discuss potential F1 return in 2021
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Kimi Raikkonen has opened up on the “odd” relationship he shared with Fernando Alonso when the two F1 legends teamed up at Ferrari. The pair teamed up in 2014, having previously been world title rivals with Alonso claiming the championship in 2005 and 2006 – while the Finn’s sole success came in 2007.
That was when Raikkonen, who retired from F1 this year after a career which dated back to 2001, was in his first stint with the Scuderia, and he would return to the Italian giants for the 2014 campaign.
It seemed he would be forming a mouth-watering partnership with Alonso, although it became somewhat anti-climatic with the Spaniard comfortably out-performing his new teammate throughout the year.
In a season dominated by Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, neither Ferrari driver notched any race wins, but the Spaniard finished sixth in the overall standings on 161 points.
Raikkonen meanwhile, was down in what was then a career-low 12th place, scoring just 55 points and failing to secure a single podium place.
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The duo didn’t get a second campaign together, with Alonso duly returning to McLaren and being replaced by Sebastian Vettel, and now Raikkonen has reflected on what proved a difficult time in his career.
However, he was full of praise for the man who will now take over his mantra as the oldest current driver on the F1 circuit.
“I think he’s always been very good,” Raikkonen told the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“As a teammate, I’m kind of certain that there was something odd happening, like between us.
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“For sure, I didn’t have a very good year, for many reasons. I didn’t do that well, but we all know he’s fast every weekend.”
Back in Raikkonen’s maiden title winning campaign, Alonso had famously endured a fractious relationship with then rookie Hamilton, which culminated in the now 40-year-old terminating his contract a year early.
However, the Finn insists he had no issue being paired with Alonso, and thinks having teammates who challenge each other is a good thing in the sport.
“I’ve never been in a position to pick who my teammate is, so it could be anybody. I think that’s good because it pushes you always and [makes you] push each other. I don’t see any negatives,” he said.
Raikkonen, 42, raced for the final time at last month’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix having spent three years with Alfa Romeo.
Alsonso, who returned this season after a two-year hiatus, will be back for the 2022 campaign alongside Esteban Ocon at Alpine.
At the Qatar Grand Prix, Alonso finished third – a first podium finish since that final season at Ferrari some seven years beforehand.
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