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Luca di Montezemolo: 'Alonso and Raikkonen will be equal at Ferrari'

From Ben Wyatt, CNN
November 20, 2013 -- Updated 1708 GMT (0108 HKT)
  • Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo says there will be no No. 1 driver at Ferrari
  • Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will be Ferrari's driver partnership in 2014
  • Di Montezemolo awarded Alonso a "good eight out of 10" rating for the 2013 season
  • This season comes to an end with the Brazilian Grand Prix this weekend

Mugello (CNN) -- Fernando Alonso's reign as the undisputed No. 1 driver at Ferrari is over, according to Ferrari chairman Luca di Montemolo.

The double world champion will be partnered at the Italian team in 2014 by Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn who won the last of Ferrari's 15 world championships in 2007.

"I don't like No. 1, No. 2," Di Montezemolo told CNN ahead of this weekend's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix. "No. 1 is the timing, No.1 and No.2 depends on the timing."

Di Montezemolo praised Alonso's skill -- the Spaniard was the drivers' champion in 2005 and 2006 -- by giving the 32-year-old a "good eight out of 10" mark for a 2013 season which has seen him struggle to keep pace with Red Bull's runaway world champion Sebastian Vettel.

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Di Montezemolo hopes Raikkonen's arrival will spur Alonso on to greater things in 2014.

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"Fernando is really a very, very good driver," said Di Montezemolo. "I'm very pleased to have him in the team. I am only frustrated that we haven't been in condition to give really a super car in the last seasons.

"Alonso knows that he drives to win for himself, but also for Ferrari. Ferrari is a team and I want drivers (who) will drive and will act and react as a team member, not only one man.

"I think that both of these drivers have good experience ... I think it's also in the interest of Alonso to have in the team a driver ready to battle his own competitors, Alonso's competitors."

Raikkonen has won 20 grands prix since making his F1 debut in 2001 and returns to Ferrari -- he drove for the Italian team between 2007 and 2009 -- as a replacement for Brazilian Felipe Massa, who is moving to Williams after eight years at the "Prancing Horse."

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Raikkonen has spent the last two years with Lotus, having left the sport in 2009 to pursue a career in rally driving.

Di Montezemolo wanted to recruit a driver of Raikkonen's experience given the raft of new regulations set to shake up F1 in 2014.

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"I need a driver able to win races or at least to take off points from our main competitors," said Di Montezemolo of the 34-year-old. "I think he will be in condition to do it.

"For a car with completely new rules, in which you have to develop without the previous year's car, you need a driver with experience.

"Don't forget that Kimi was the driver that won our last world championship."

However, doubts have been cast over Ferrari's ability to manage two drivers who will have their eyes set on a title challenge.

Alonso famously clashed with Lewis Hamilton while at McLaren, a rivalry which culminated in the Spaniard joining Renault in 2009 before signing with Ferrari in 2010.

But Di Montezemolo has no concerns of a similarly personality clash this time around.

"I don't want to say that they are old..." Di Montezemolo joked when asked if the two drivers will get along. "But I'm sure, yes."

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