Fernando Alonso is off to a good start in the “impress Ferrari” category this week. The Spaniard has spent significant time at the Maranello factory and endeared himself to the team already. One Ferrari employee said:
“in two days he has seen more of the Maranello factory than others in two years”
Obviously a veiled comment directed toward former Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and his lack of interest in just about anything.
Alonso seems at ease with his new home and lack of the familiar Renault engineers that have been around him for many years. He is working hard to build a good relationship with the Ferrari staff and told Marca:
“I have to earn the trust and gain the confidence of the team and begin a good relationship with the engineers and mechanics,” the 28-year-old told Marca.
“That is what I am trying to do in these months, in order to arrive at the first race with a good understanding with the team so that we all feel comfortable together.”
His teammate Felipe Massa has added his take on the Alonso pairing and mitigated the furor that has surrounded the skill and ability of the two-time Spanish champion saying:
“Alonso is a great driver, everyone knows that, and I think we will have a good relationship off the track,” underlined Massa.
“I think we can form the strongest partnership in the championship. I think his arrival will change nothing in my career or within Ferrari: we are two great drivers, and his recruitment is good for the team.”
As much as I like Massa, I must say that lumping yourself in the same category as Alonso is a very brash thing to do. Alonso is considered by many as the best driver on the grid in F1 today. Massa, however, has steadily progressed into a complete driver and risen to the challenge of other high profile drivers like Kimi Raikkonen.
the egos and interests will be intriguing to watch. As much as we are taking it to McLaren for signing two world champions, Ferrari are not free from inter-team issues as well and it may be difficult to keep Massa from foiling the Alonso gravy train.