Oh, isn’t that nice, a lovely family snap to usher in the return of Ferrari’s most recent world champion. The body language is superb, too.
As expected Ferrari has announced it has signed Kimi Raikkonen for next year. Slightly against expectations he is signed on a firm two-year contract. “Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached an agreement with Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn will join Fernando Alonso in the driver line-up for the next two racing seasons,” a short statement on the Ferrari website confirmed.
After the break you’ll see three brief statements from Kimi, his teammate in waiting Fernando Alonso and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali. Make sure you play the reading between the lines game with Fernando’s quotes.
All are very polite at the moment and we cannot wait for the fireworks to commence next year. Our tantrumeter has been set to extreme!
Domenicali: “Felipe, a real team player. Welcome back Kimi!”
Maranello, 11 September – Stefano Domenicali has stood alongside Felipe Massa for all twelve years that the Brazilian has been involved with Scuderia Ferrari and what he had to say on the day after the announcement that this long chapter was coming to a close was hearfelt.
“I wish to thank Felipe with all my heart and also on behalf of all our fans around the world, for the extraordinary job he has done for the team over so many years,” commented Domenicali on www.ferrari.com. “Felipe has always behaved like a real team player. Together we have lived through some great times and also a few dramatic moments, which have helped to cement a truly unique relationship on both a professional and personal level. He will always be part of our family and we wish him all the very best for the future. Now we must concentrate all our efforts on the remaining seven races of the season and we know that, as always, we can count on Felipe’s contribution, while we work together to reach our goals. Our determination will not waver one iota right to the very end.”
As one chapter comes to a close, another one resumes after a break. “I am pleased to welcome Kimi back to the Scuderia, the team with which he won his World Championship title,” concluded Domenicali. “I sense he is very happy to be returning to Maranello and very determined to tackle the work that awaits him in the best way possible.”
Raikkonen: “Happy to be returning to Maranello”
Maranello, 11 September – Kimi Raikkonen is gearing up to return to a life in Red after a four year break and he did not hide his delight when talking to www.ferrari.com. “I am really happy to be returning to Maranello where I previously spent three fantastic and very successful years,” said Kimi. I have so many memories of my time at Ferrari, memories which have stayed with me these past years, first and foremost, winning the World Championship title in 2007, which was really unforgettable. I can’t wait to be driving a Prancing Horse car again and to reacquaint myself with so many people with whom I had such close links, as well as working with Fernando, whom I consider a great driver, in order to bring the team the success it deserves.”
Alonso: “Thanks Feli!”
Maranello, 11 September – In Formula 1, having to change team-mates is part of the job. For four seasons, Fernando Alonso has shared the Scuderia Ferrari garage with Felipe Massa and the day after news broke that the Brazilian would be leaving, the Spaniard had this to say: “I want to thank Felipe for all the support he has given me and the team during this journey we have made together over all these years. Come the end of the season, it will not be easy to say goodbye to a team-mate like him. He has always been truly professional and loyal to the team and I am sure that right to the end, he will do his utmost for the Scuderia that he loves so much.” Through www.ferrari.com, he also had a word for Kimi Raikkonen. “I’d like to welcome my new travelling companion: together, starting next year, we will have to tackle a very demanding technical and racing challenge.”