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Moving into the red - Part Two 16 Feb 2007

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2007. Formula One Testing, Barcelona, Spain, Day Three, Wednesday 14 February 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton Podium and Results: first Nigel Mansell (GBR)Ferrari middle, second Ayrton Senna (BRA) left and third Thierry Boutsen (BEL) Williams right. Hungarian Grand Prix, Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary, 13 August 1989. World ©  Sutton. Michele Alboretto (ITA) Ferrari 156/85, 1st place. German Grand Prix, Nurburgring, 4 August 1985. World ©  Sutton. Nigel Mansell (GBR) Ferrari 640 Formula One World Championship, 1989. World © SUTTON Alain Prost(FRA), Ferrari 641, second place Italian Grand Prix, Monza, Italy, 9 September 1990. World © Sutton

Is history on Raikkonen's side as he swaps silver for scarlet?

As Kimi Raikkonen prepares for his first season with Ferrari, we take a look back at how three more well-established drivers have fared upon donning those famous red overalls...

Michele Alboreto
After scoring two victories during a three-year spell at Tyrrell, Michele Alboreto moved to Ferrari in 1984. Although widely considered a highly talented driver, Alboreto had never come close to challenging for the drivers’ crown and, by switching to Ferrari, he hoped to improve his chances.

The first Italian to race for the team in ten years, Alboreto proved himself a welcome addition after winning in Belgium and clinching three further podiums. But his title challenge was then thwarted by a significant drop in the Ferrari’s reliability. Eight retirements later, team and driver alike couldn’t help but be frustrated.

Gradually, however, as the Ferrari became stronger - and Alboreto grew more confident - results improved. So much so that in 1985, just three points separated him from title leader, Alain Prost, as they headed into the 12th of 16 races, before an unlucky run of four retirements put paid to his title hopes. Alboreto raced for Ferrari for a further three years, but never won another race for the Italian squad - or for any other team.

Nigel Mansell
Nigel Mansell, then a veteran of nine Formula One campaigns, began his tenure at Ferrari in 1989. Although a four-year stretch at Williams had twice put him into contention for a title, a lacklustre 1988 with the British team spurred him on to make the move to Italy.

Ferrari had just finished runner-up in the ’88 constructors’ standings and a win for Mansell on his Ferrari debut in Brazil augured well for the season ahead. However, a catalogue of reliability problems, including three consecutive gearbox failures, soon spelled disaster for his title chances. A further victory at the Hungaroring was little recompense and, despite winning the admiration of the tifosi, Mansell finished a disappointing fourth in the final standings.

In 1990, Mansell found himself increasingly overshadowed by his new Ferrari team mate Alain Prost. With the Portuguese Grand Prix his only win of the season, a disheartened Mansell became so frustrated he announced he would retire after a particularly dismal British race. Replaced by Jean Alesi in Ferrari’s 1991 line-up, Mansell made plans for a triumphant return to Williams and, a season later, finally won his drivers’ title.

Alain Prost
During six seasons with McLaren, Alain Prost won 30 races and three drivers’ titles. However, playful competitiveness between Prost and new team mate Ayrton Senna soon descended into a bitter feud. In 1989 at the title showdown in Suzuka, Prost pushed Senna off the track to secure his championship ambitions. It spelled the end of the Frenchman’s term at McLaren.

Taking his drivers’ crown with him, Prost moved to Ferrari in 1990. Despite finishing the previous season almost 100 points adrift of McLaren, the Italian squad were still considered front-runners and for Prost the gamble immediately seemed to pay off. Five wins and nine podiums later, the Frenchman was in contention for another title, just behind former team mate Senna.

But a second coming together between the pair at Suzuka saw Senna declared world champion. The 1991 season proved disappointing with Prost failing to win a single race for the first time in ten years. After publicly criticising the Italian team, the Frenchman was promptly dropped. A year spent in the wilderness of TV commentating followed, but a return to the cockpit for Williams in 1993 saw Prost taking the title for a fourth and final time.

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