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Kimi Raikkonen

Raikkonen reflects on 20-year rivalry with Alonso

20 years after they both made their F1 debut, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will once again be racing alongside each other in 2021. Raikkonen has been looking back on some of their battles.

Kimi Raikkonen
To news overview © Alfa Romeo

Kimi Raikkonen has been reflecting on his 20-year rivalry with Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard makes his return to Formula 1 following two years away.

Back in 2001, Raikkonen and Alonso both entered their debut seasons in the sport and have battled each other on many occasions since, including the 2007 title fight that saw Raikkonen beat Alonso - as well as Alonso's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton - to become world champion. The Finn admits that he hasn't always come out on top though.

"Obviously over the years, we had [in] some years more battles than others," Raikkonen told RacingNews365.com among others. "But some years we had year-long battles, and it's always fair and clean. So I have good memories from it.

"Unfortunately we came off worse sometimes, and sometimes better. That's how it goes in the racing."

Raikkonen - who also took two years away from F1 in 2010 and 2011 - does not believe that Alonso will have lost any of his speed when he returns to the grid with Alpine in 2021.

"I didn't struggle much to come back," the Finn explained. "It wasn't like you forgot how to drive F1 cars, and you get to test before and it's all back to normal, so I'm sure he will return."

At 41 years old, Raikkonen is the oldest driver on the grid and has surpassed the record as the driver to have achieved the most race starts in their career. This season the 2007 world champion will race for Alfa Romeo for a third season alongside teammate Antonio Giovinazzi.

Meanwhile 39-year-old Alonso will be back racing for Alpine, the team formerly known as Renault, and will be joined by Esteban Ocon. Alonso previously experienced great success with Renault, having won his two world titles with the French outfit in 2005 and 2006.


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