Fiery Ferrari pairing of Alonso and Raikkonen is likely to end in tears

If Raikkonen steps on Alonso's toes and this is left to fester, Italian team may have bitten off more than they can handle with fiery duo

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 September, 2013, 3:11am

So the deal has been done and one of the worst kept secrets of recent days has finally been confirmed. Kimi Raikkonen is heading to Ferrari for the next two seasons. Spectators and drivers had better buckle up as it is going to be a spectacular, and probably bumpy ride.

Ferrari have pointed out that it is the first time since 1953 that they have had two world champions driving at the same time for them. It certainly will be one of the most experienced and accomplished pairings on the grid for next season.

The move has won its fair share of plaudits. Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger certainly was not surprised, telling the BBC: "Kimi fits perfectly into this place and will put Ferrari into a very strong position for the constructors championship."

Of course, there are many who remain unconvinced that this is a good idea. You suspect the Ferrari chairman Luca Montezemolo may privately be one of them. He has said previously he did not want "two roosters in the same henhouse". This is exactly what he will get with a pairing of Alonso and Raikkonen.

Alonso has form when it comes to dealing with strong teammates. You may recall the fun and games at McLaren in 2007 when he locked horns with Lewis Hamilton. You imagine he was rather hoping to have a more compliant teammate who would bend to his will and ambition. Kimi is not a political animal, but he will not be pushed around.

The Finn may be relieved to have escaped a team in Lotus that were unable to match his ambition and struggled to pay his wages, but it may not be the perfect choice for him either. You suspect he would have preferred to have engineered a deal at Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel may be even more ruthless than Alonso (as Mark Webber can attest), but at least the machinery is capable of delivering a world title. Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has conceded that "we are well aware that without a competitive car, not even Superman can win".

At least with the huge rules shake up next year, Ferrari have a chance to haul themselves back into contention. In that direction the Italians have been busy, signing Lotus' head of aerodynamics, Dirk de Beer. Lotus' former technical director James Allison has already been hired.

It will be fascinating to see how Raikkonen fares on returning to Ferrari. Of course, he won them the title in 2007, but after that his performances tailed off so much that he was outdriven by Felipe Massa, eventually being paid off by the team. It could be argued the "Ice Man" does not help himself with his inability to engage with those around him.

Alonso is much more Ferrari's kind of man an outgoing, dominant, opinionated team leader. And yet it has been a nightmare of a season for him with a poor car, and his relationship with the team deteriorated to the point that it has been reported that Ferrari were thinking of paying the Spaniard off at the end of the season.

Perhaps he needs a rocket up him, and that pyrotechnic comes in the form of the Finn. It is not the first time a strong pairing have made up a team, think of Senna and Prost or Mansell and Piquet. Often it has brought results, but not without disruption for the team.

Alonso is probably unhappy with Raikkonen arriving at Ferrari. If that feeling is left to fester and the Finn does step on the Spaniard's toes, expect fireworks that not even Ferrari will be able to keep in house. It could be an inspired move, more likely than not though the pairing will end in tears.

The man elbowed out to make a seat available at Ferrari, Massa could at last have some good news. The Brazilian is in talks with Lotus to drive for them next season. It would be a decent result for Massa and the chance to shake off the number two driver tag could see him blossom once more.

The more intriguing prospect though, would be a move to McLaren. He has had talks with them also, and whatever car he finds himself in, it would be nice if it was fast enough to remind Ferrari of what they have let go.