2013 Singapore GP debate: Will Fernando Alonso v Kimi Raikkonen work at Ferrari?
They're back! Ted Kravitz and David Croft face off again
Last Updated: September 19, 2013 3:59pm
New Ferrari duo a problem?
No prizes for guessing what has got Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz and David Croft talking ahead of the Singapore GP - Kimi Raikkonen's 2014 return to Ferrari.
However, while the respective talents of both drivers are unquestionable, the bigger question is whether Ferrari's first all-World Champion line-up since 1953 will ultimately deliver the World Championship goods?
Taking opposing viewpoints, and with Sky Sports News' Craig Slater as umpire, here's what Ted and Crofty make of it all...
Craig Slater: Go on then Ted, tell us why Raikkonen and Alonso will not work?
Ted Kravitz: "Ferrari's strength has been that they concentrate on one driver. That's how they managed to get Michael Schumacher to so many World Championships in the mid-2000s and how they've managed to get Fernando Alonso to the last race of the season challenging for the World Championship two times out of the last three years. It works because there's just one number one driver and I simply don't see how it's going to work with having two number one drivers.
CS: David Croft..
David Croft: "It's like everything in life, you've got to make an effort, and Ferrari are making the effort to win the Constructors' Championship. They've brought in three world titles-worth of experience and 52 race wins-worth of experience to nail that Constructors' Championship. In a year of changes, they have got the strongest driver line-up. They've put the effort in, I don't see how it doesn't work.."
TK: "...because you're going to annoy and alienate your lead driver in Fernando Alonso, which is precisely what it's done. In fact what what we learned when we found out that Kimi Raikkonen had been approached in the middle of the season was that actually Alonso had been kept informed.
"I wondered about this at the time, if these secret talks were being held with Kimi Raikkonen, how did Fernando find out? Well it turns out that Ferrari actually told him 'we're talking to Kimi'. So we believe that that prompted Fernando to go to Red Bull and say 'I'm not happy about what's going on at Ferrari, they seem to have lost faith in me getting in Kimi Raikkonen, is there a seat available for me at Red Bull Racing?'
"You've got a driver who's upset with the team, he feels he's been betrayed by Ferrari. That's no kind of good mental space to go into any championship with."
DC: "You've got a driver who's got to like it or lump it now - there is no space out there for Fernando Alonso elsewhere at this moment in time. Ferrari are saying 'no, we've tried the lead driver policy, it's not working. We want a Constructors' Championship, we want two lead drivers. We have the resources to do it so why not have two to go out there and win championships? Fernando, I'm really sorry, but you're going to have to raise your game.'
"And do you know what - he will raise his game, because he can."
CS: McLaren tried this, two World Champion drivers, and they won a third of the races but no championships...
DC: "But that was different at McLaren. [In 2007] McLaren had a young rookie in Lewis Hamilton, and Fernando Alonso. The young rookie was meant to be subservient and Alonso thought he was the 'lead' driver. Ron Dennis and McLaren had other ideas.
"At least now Fernando Alonso knows where the playing field is and where the dimensions are on this one. He knows that he's not a lead driver, he knows what to expect from Kimi Raikkonen. There will be no surprises, that's why there won't be a problem."
CS: One last word to Ted...
TK "Fernando Alonso not a lead driver? What are you saying? He's the most lead driver in the field. I think he's going to be giving Kimi Raikkonen as hard a time as Kimi is going to be giving him.
"Plus, I think another problem why they might not win the Constructors' Championship is because they are a little bit behind on engine development for next year. We believe Mercedes and Renault have the edge, at the moment, on an engine formula which is what it's going to be next year. I think we could be looking at Ferrari now not winning the Drivers' Championship, because they've got two number one drivers going against each other which doesn't work, and not even winning the Constructors' because the car's not up to it because the engine isn't up to it."