Q and A with Stefano Domenicali on Alonso deal Starting in 2010 Fernando Alonso will be an official Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver as was confirmed by the Maranello based squad on Wednesday. Following on from the official announcement, the team’s official website spoke to Stefano Domenicali about the team’s new choice of driver for the next three seasons.....
"We’re happy that we made this agreement with Fernando, who is not only a driver of great talent, but also victorious, as he has shown many times throughout his career, also under difficult conditions,” he said. “His contribution will be very important to bring Ferrari back to the level where it has to be, to fight at the top.”
How did you come to choose Alonso?
“As Chairman Montezemolo said recently, all the great champs want to come to Maranello sooner or later. With Fernando we started talking about a prospective for 2011, but then there were the conditions to anticipate the start of our relationship already as of the upcoming championship, we preferred to take the opportunity.”
What will the Scuderia’s official formation look like next year?
“Next to Fernando we’ll have Felipe Massa, who is recovering very quickly to his best physical condition, with Giancarlo Fisichella as the surrogate driver. We believe that this is the best possible couple for a team like ours: Fernando and Felipe are two victorious drivers and they integrate very well with each other and with the team.”
And Raikkonen? What’s the situation?
"We spoke with Kimi and agreed to end our contract one year ahead of schedule. The three years together were very intense and successful, culminating with the extraordinary win of the World Championship in 2007 and the decisive contribution to conquering two consecutive Constructors’ titles. This year, although with a car not part of the best on the track, Kimi has shown especially in the second half of the season, what he is able to do: he has given a lot to Ferrari and he received a lot. I’m sure that he will remember this time together with us as one of the most beautiful times in his career, just like we will remember him with affection and admiration as a driver with such extraordinary talent and such an honest, transparent and loyal man deserves.
What’s the spirit you are going into this last part of the season?
“We are on the third place in the Constructors’ standings, but we know that it will be difficult to keep it. We’ve seen that there are many teams still developing the cars, while we are putting all our energy in the project for 2010. Furthermore, more than in any other season before, there are many teams fighting for the win, while there are only so many places on the podium. Kimi and Giancarlo have the right stimuli to give it everything in the last three races.