Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alonso welcomes back ‘great’ Räikkönen

Fernando Alonso will be pleased to see 2005 rival Kimi Räikkönen returning to F1 next season. After two years out, the Finn makes his comeback with a record of one world title, two overall runner-up spots and 18 Grand Prix victories to his name.

Although Michael Schumacher fought Alonso to the 2006 title, it was Räikkönen who provided the biggest challenge en route to the Spaniard’s maiden crown in 2005 - but losing a significant amount of points through technical problems and penalties.

“I welcome him back because he’s a great driver,” Alonso said at what was his last work commitment of 2011 in Madrid. “He is one of the most talented drivers out there as well as being a World Champion and a nice person, so it will be a pleasure to have him back.

“There is something different about starting a race with Kimi alongside you, rather than any other young driver. Fighting with people like him gives you a greater sense of security.”

Räikkönen and Alonso last shared a front row at the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix, with the latter – then driving for Renault – being beaten to the top spot in qualifying by the Ferrari driver; ironically, the pair will be racing for the respective other team in 2012.


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