Ferrari will pay the price for the capture of Kimi Raikkonen, not only next season but also during the current campaign, according to outgoing driver Felipe Massa.
The Brazilian has vowed not to help Fernando Alonso in his bid for World Championship glory in 2013, and says the prospect of Raikkonen challenging Alonso’s authority is highly dangerous for Ferrari.
Massa was speaking to TV Globo, as William Esler of Sky Sports reported:
I know both Fernando and Kimi on and off the track and I rate them as excellent drivers, but I'm afraid they will collide when sharing the team.
I told the bosses to breathe as much as possible while they still can because it will be hard for them to breathe next season.
Massa’s prediction for a clashing of egos between Alonso and Raikkonen only fuels the widespread fear that the Scuderia has handed itself a ticking time bomb for 2014.
Alonso has had things his own way at Ferrari, so much so that Massa has played the sacrificial lamb, taking gearbox penalties on behalf of the Spaniard and accepting his clear role as No. 2.
Former world champion Raikkonen arrives as Alonso’s equal. It will shift the entire dynamic of the Ferrari team, offering a dual assault to Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull dominance, but the threat of implosion if both men take points from each other.
However, a more pressing issue faces the Prancing Horse. Massa still has to see out his final campaign with the outfit, driving for a team that no longer values his services.
He has his own agenda to serve. The Brazilian must find a team for next season and a powerful finish to the campaign is the best advertisement he can offer.
Therefore, Massa has vowed to drive for himself—even if that comes at the cost of Alonso’s world title dream. With seven races remaining, Alonso is 53 points behind Vettel and still challenging in the World Drivers’ Championship.
Massa, though, will no longer be aiding the Spaniard’s plight, per Sky Sports:
I will not race for Alonso from now on. Right from Friday at Singapore I'll be working for myself. I will attack all the time, every lap. It's come the time to look after myself.
The spotlight will now be on the Alonso-Massa partnership in Singapore. Should the Brazilian lead his colleague, it will be fascinating to see Alonso forced to fight to get past.
Ferrari undoubtedly had to do something to break Vettel’s dominance, with the German on course for a fourth consecutive title. But by taking away Alonso’s crutch, the Scuderia’s bid to launch a dual assault on the world title threatens to result in the team actually providing no challenge whatsoever.
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