user icon

Ferrari 'completely insane' to sign Raikkonen - Villeneuve

  • Published on 19 Sep 2013 13:52
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
Jacques Villeneuve has blasted Ferrari's decision to sign Kimi Raikkonen for 2014. Prior to his slump in form and Ferrari's decision to push him into sabbatical at the end of 2009, the Finn won the Italian team's last world title in 2007.

But 1997 world champion Villeneuve thinks bringing the now 33-year-old Raikkonen back to Ferrari in Felipe Massa's wake is not smart. "Ferrari are completely insane," the always outspoken French Canadian told the German newspaper Bild. "He can drive a car fast, but he can't work with the engineers, he can't develop the car, he won't go to sponsor appointments," Villeneuve said.

Villeneuve is not the only one questioning Ferrari's choice, particularly with the fiery Latin temperament of the current 'number 1' Fernando Alonso on the other side of the garage. "If Kimi starts outqualifying Fernando that would be a big one," McLaren's Jenson Button said this week, "because Fernando is not the quickest guy but as a package he's exceptional. It's fun for us watching from the outside, but does it make the team stronger? I personally don't think it does," the 2009 world champion added.

Former Ferrari driver Rene Arnoux agrees with those who think Alonso plus Raikkonen equals trouble. "It will last 3 or 4 races," said the Frenchman, when pondering the 'peace' at Maranello at the very beginning of 2014. "As far as character, I see Alonso's as the weaker," he told Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Remember him with Hamilton at McLaren? The peace was short lived, and while I am the first to hope I am wrong, for winning the constructors' title you need two very strong drivers and characters. But, of these two, one is angry and one doesn't care. Every Sunday there is the possibility that it explodes. Yes, as a neutral spectator, I like Ferrari's choice," he smiled.

Arnoux, now 65, thinks it is possible Raikkonen will get the upper hand. "He seems to be more mature these days. Sure, his character is still the same, but since he was at Lotus he seems more consistent. (Romain) Grosjean is still a mid-level driver and so it seems that Lotus has relied almost exclusively on Kimi," he added.

On the other hand, Arnoux questions whether Alonso can cope with being paired with a driver of Raikkonen's calibre. "Definitely he has a bad temper, but this can also be a quality when it is used in battle," he said. "But not when it is used within the team, creating difficulties and divisions. Frankly, I want to see if Alonso is really up to what people say about him. In Barcelona he did an amazing race, a masterpiece, but then for a few races he did nothing," added Arnoux.

Something else that might spark Alonso's fire is the extra workload that having Raikkonen alongside him might create. The Finn is notorious for hating PR, media and sponsor work, and negotiating contracts that minimise his off-track commitments.

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said this week: "I hope his (Raikkonen's) public relations will consist of wins, as well as a contribution to the team and a diligent presence in Maranello. "Alonso cannot take all the work on his shoulders alone," he insisted. (GMM)

Replies (0)

Login to reply

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

BE Grand Prix of Belgium

Local time 

Related news

World Championship standings 2021

Show full world champion standings

Test calendar

Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing

See full test schedule

Give your opinion!

Will Bottas challenge Hamilton for the world championship in 2020?

Driver profile

  • Team Alpine F1
  • Points 215
  • Podiums 1
  • Grand Prix 100
  • Country ES
  • Date of b. Jul 29 1981 (40)
  • Place of b. Oviedo, ES
  • Weight 68 kg
  • Length 1.71 m
Show full profile

Team profile

Show full profile

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix
Circuit
-
Bahrain
26 - Mar 28 2021
Bahrain
16 - Apr 18 2021
Italy
30 - May 2 2021
Portugal
7 - May 9 2021
Spain
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan
18 - Jun 20 2021
France
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary
27 - Aug 29 2021
Belgium
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian
8 - Oct 10 2021
Japan
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America
5 - Nov 7 2021
Mexico
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil
19 - Nov 21 2021
Qatar
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates
-
United Arab Emirates
See full schedule

Formula 1 Calendar - 2021

Date
Grand Prix & Circuit
26 - Mar 28 2021
16 - Apr 18 2021
30 - May 2 2021
7 - May 9 2021
20 - May 23 2021
Monaco Monte Carlo
4 - Jun 6 2021
Azerbaijan Baku City Circuit
18 - Jun 20 2021
France Paul Ricard
25 - Jun 27 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
2 - Jul 4 2021
Austria Red Bull Ring
16 - Jul 18 2021
United Kingdom Silverstone
30 - Aug 1 2021
Hungary Hungaroring
27 - Aug 29 2021
3 - Sep 5 2021
Netherlands Circuit Zandvoort
10 - Sep 12 2021
Italy Monza
24 - Sep 26 2021
Russian Sochi Autodrom
8 - Oct 10 2021
8 - Oct 10 2021
Turkey Istanbul Park
22 - Oct 24 2021
United States of America Circuit of the Americas
5 - Nov 7 2021
12 - Nov 14 2021
Brazil Interlagos
19 - Nov 21 2021
3 - Dec 5 2021
Saudi Arabia Jeddah Street Circuit
10 - Dec 12 2021
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
-
United Arab Emirates Yas Marina Circuit
See full schedule
show sidebar