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Fernando Alonso Displaces Raikkonen At Ferrari

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On: Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 12:18PM | By: John Welch

Fernando Alonso Displaces Raikkonen At Ferrari

We knew this was coming. 'We' being myself and the other five F1-dorks currently living in the United States of America. Fernando Alonso, undisputed king of the F1 V10 era (he captured the 2005 and 2006 championships, piloting what are widely considered the baddest of all F1 Formulas — the high downforce, 1000bhp V10-powered cars of 2000 to 2007), has found himself at the center of the Ferrari rumor mill for the better part of four years. Finally, the storied Italian team has signed Alonso to a 3-year deal, replacing Kimi Raikkonen for the 2010 season.

So what will happen to Raikkonen? His foray into rallying seems to be over, as he has not signed with Fiat for next year, so he will most likely end up with McLaren-Mercedes, replacing Heikki Kovalainen. Kovalainen has been a disappointment this year, failing to finish the first four Grand Prix of the 2009 season. Having viewed those races, I think most of Kovalainen's problems were out of his hands: rammed by other drivers, tire failures, etc. F1 is cold and unforgiving. however, so poor Heikki can kiss his ride goodbye.

Stefano Domenicali, the Ferrari boss, was gracious regarding Raikkonen's departure.

"Of course, we wish to thank Kimi for everything he has done during his time with Ferrari. In his first year with us he managed to win the drivers' title, thus making his contribution to Ferrari's history, and he played a vital role in our taking of the constructors' title in 2007 and 2008."

"Even during a difficult season like this one, he has demonstrated his great talent, with several good results, including a great win in Spa. We are sure we can share more good times together in the final three races of this season."

That is not to say that Domenicali isn't excited about his new driver. "We are very proud to welcome to our team another winning driver, who has demonstrated his amazing talent by winning two World Championships in his career to date," offered Stefano Domenicali.

Shaping up to be every bit as wild as 2009, the 2010 F1 season is getting off to a bizarre start, three races before the 2009 campaign ends . . .

Just how completely badass were those V10-powered F1 cars I spoke of? Richard Hammond, presenter of Top Gear, wouldn't be able to keep his job if he were incompetent behind the wheel. He is given the chance to drive the championship-winning Renault R25. It isn't . . easy. To commemorate Hammond not killing himself, the Renault engineers use the 3 liter V10 to perform their own rendition of 'God Save The Queen' . . . or 'God Bless America' if you're so inclined . . . enjoy.

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