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Massa and Alonso no problem says Ecclestone

NEWS STORY
01/10/2009

Though many are delighted to see Fernando Alonso at Ferrari, others fear the Spaniard will not gel with the Italian outfit or his Brazilian teammate.

While Alonso has enjoyed a good relationship with Renault, many still remember that difficult season with McLaren in 2007, when the marriage made in heaven ended in an acrimonious divorce less than a year later.

At McLaren, faced with a super-talented teammate in the shape of Lewis Hamilton, it wasn't long before things started to go sour, the Spaniard aware that his number one status was under threat. The situation was not helped when the two-time champion allegedly attempted to blackmail the team into giving him seniority at the height of the spy scandal.

While his status as number one at Renault was never in doubt, more recently there has been concern at his knowledge of 'Crashgate', though the Spaniard and all involved deny this.

Nevertheless, there is a feeling that Alonso is not the sort of team player the Maranello outfit is used to and that the feisty 28-year-old will soon be making waves, especially as far as teammate Felipe Massa is concerned. Not so, says Bernie Ecclestone.

"If he handled Kimi, he should be able to handle Fernando," Ecclestone told Reuters ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix. "They are the same type of driver, aren't they? I think he will be alright.

"It is good. Good for Fernando, good for Formula One, good for Ferrari," he added.

Asked if he thought the Spaniard will try to have the team built around him, as was the case when Michael Schumacher reigned at Maranello, Ecclestone was adamant: "No, no way. He may try, but I don't think he will be successful."

The Englishman was equally confident about the future of 2007 champion Raikkonen: "I think we will see him in a good car," he said. "It would be good to see him in a McLaren."

Asked why the relationship between 'Ice Man' Raikkonen and Ferrari had never appeared to have fully worked, Ecclestone replied: "Different culture. He is probably better off in an English type team."

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