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Raikkonen has matured since 2009 - Domenicali

ESPN Staff
February 12, 2014 « Mercedes tips Red Bull to bounce back | Domenicali warns F1 against 'propensity for self-destruction' »
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Kimi Raikkonen has matured since his first stint as a Ferrari driver, according to team principal Stefano Domenicali.

Raikkonen returned to Ferrari over the winter to partner Fernando Alonso, just four years after his first contract with the team was cut short at the end of 2009. In the intervening years he competed in the World Rally Championship and drove for Lotus in Formula One, before agreeing to a return to Ferrari towards the end of last season.

Domencali said he had been impressed by Raikkonen's dedication to Ferrari since his return to Maranello.

"I have found a more mature Kimi, more closely knit to the team," he was quoted on the Ferrari website. "He comes to Maranello almost every week to work with the engineers. He knows his worth and he knows what team he has returned to and what challenges he will face, having a world champion like Alonso alongside him for whom he has respect and he will have to adapt to working with him.

"Fernando is extremely intelligent and has managed to stay ahead in whatever car he has driven. He has an ability to interpret the race and to read it in an amazing way and I think he will make the most of the new regulations, which will require some stages of the race to be managed in a different way. We feel close to him partly because it was such a long time ago that we decided to invest in him."

Domenicali believes the two drivers will work together rather than against each other and stressed that the team's goals will always come first.

"It was a rational choice, based on the need to have an expert driver pairing, with the one aim of it doing well for Ferrari. I hope the track will show that it was the right choice. How will we manage them? Decisions are always carefully considered, but they always have the same aim, which is that the sporting decisions are taken to reach the team's goals, as the interest of the team always comes before all else. Decisions we have taken in the past have always been reached in this spirit."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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