Fernando Alonso has no doubts that Kimi Raikkonen will be an important asset to Ferrari when he rejoins the team next year.
The Finn, who clinched the Formula 1 title with the Maranello squad in 2007, is replacing Williams-bound Felipe Massa alongside Alonso in 2014.
Although Alonso had said in the past that Massa was no slower than Raikkonen, the Spaniard insisted he rates the Finn, even though he admitted he is yet to form an opinion about him.
“There is a lot of misinformation about my new teammate. You read things I said that I didn’t actually say. I think he can be an important asset to the team next year,” Alonso told reporters during a sponsor event in Madrid. “Between Kimi and I, with 12 years of experience [each], that can help us develop the car in certain aspects that are new.
“I can’t give an opinion about Kimi because I don’t know him. There are others who can give opinions about others without knowing them, but I can’t. And having not shared a team with him, or having never spent more than 10 minutes with him, I can’t say what he’s like or who he is.
“With Felipe I shared four years and he was a good person, and we worked for Ferrari together in an efficient and professional way. I think Kimi will be the same, but it’s hard to give an opinion now. It’s important that we work together and that a red car, whichever it is, crosses the finish line first.”
Although Ferrari endured a difficult 2013 and was no match for the dominant Red Bull, Alonso thinks there is reason to be confident for next year.
“This year we had a sad or disastrous year, according to some people,” he said. “I think the reason to be more optimistic next year is that I’m at Ferrari, which is a top team which can do great things.”