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Alonso, Raikkonen ready to capitalise on 2014 changes

25 Jan 2014

Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are confident their new driver partnership will reap dividends at Ferrari this year as Formula One racing enters a new era of technical regulation, with the move to smaller, 1.6 litre V6 turbo engines.

"We have to be optimistic," Alonso told the media following Saturday’s launch of Ferrari’s new F14 T car. "There is no sign to be pessimistic. We're in a changeable time now and we have many things coming in F1 with a big regulations change, but I think we are quite well prepared for that.

"The team has been working for a good time on the new car. We have the technology and the people and the facilities to create and to be ready to challenge in that new F1. So that is my main reason to be optimistic.

“We are in Ferrari, we are in a team that is only competing to win. Finishing second is like a disaster because everyone is expecting a lot and these expectations and motivation everyone has makes me very optimistic. I am sure everyone in the team will do it 100 percent to do it right. We are a team and we need to deliver."

Alonso is entering his fifth season with Ferrari and is still chasing his first title with the team. As the Spaniard pointed out, however, even the great Michael Schumacher needed that long with the Italian squad before they enjoyed title success together.

“I’m in the fifth year now so hopefully I can repeat some of the success that he had,” said Alonso. “Obviously in the last four years we had some opportunities, especially in 2010, 2012, we were very, very close to winning the championship. So this year we’ll try again and hopefully this time will be a good one.

“I think in 2014 the Formula One will change a lot with the new regulations. That will take also some implications from the driving styles so definitely I’m looking forward to discovering this new Formula One.”

Raikkonen, meanwhile, is returning to Ferrari after a four-year absence, having won the drivers’ title with the team in 2007 before being replaced by Alonso for the 2010 season. The Finn admitted it is too early to say exactly how well their pairing will work, but insisted both will be giving their maximum for the team.

"Every situation is different, but we know what we have to do,” said Raikkonen. “We have said before that we are going to race against each other, just like every year - it doesn't matter who your team mate is.

“We have a respect against each other and we try to come out on top, but we know what the team expects from us and time will tell what happens. There is a lot of talk from outside of all the problems and all those kinds of things, but inside the team we have a good feeling. We have to wait and see how it goes, and hopefully we can bring both titles back to the team."

Alonso echoed Raikkonen’s sentiment that it will be up to both men to put Ferrari’s interests foremost: “I think Kimi and me as a team should be quite strong on paper because we’ve had some success in the past in Formula One.

“But this you need to discover - every year we start from zero. If we do well we will have a very strong team and we can deliver some good results for Ferrari. If we don’t do well enough some other team will have another best pairing of drivers, so it’s up to us to deliver and do a good job.

"We will follow whatever the team priority is and try to do our best to win both championships and bring back to Ferrari some of the success it had in the past. The best way to achieve that is to race at 100 percent level every race, and try to always bring back the points to the team and ourselves. To do that we need to work in perfect harmony and follow what the team priority is, and what the team will tell us."