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No preferential treatment to Raikkonen: Ferrari
January 09, 2008 18:43 IST
World champion Kimi Raikkonen [Images] will not be given preferential treatment over Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa [Images] this season, Ferrari's [Images] new team boss Stefano Domenicali said on Wednesday.
Ferrari have shuffled their management lineup this year despite also wrapping up the constructors' championship last season after McLaren were fined $100 million and stripped of all their constructors' points after a spying scandal.
Former sporting director Domenicali has replaced Jean Todt, who has reverted to his role of chief executive of the overall company. However, Domenicali plans few changes to a winning formula after Finn Raikkonen's success last year.
"What counts are the rules of engagement, those are equal to last year. The priority is the well-being of the team. In this sense Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa start off equal," he told a news conference at Ferrari's winter ski retreat in northern Italy [Images].
The spy affair, in which ex-Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney allegedly leaked sensitive data to McLaren, left many in the Italian team bitter but Domenicali wants to move on.
"For the good of the sport we need to look forward. The past is the past," he said before acknowledging the scandal would be hard to forget.
"They are difficult wounds to heal, something happened which hurt the sport. I won't forget what happened. We have always maintained good faith. It is the value we hold most dear."
Domenicali also echoed Todt's remarks on Monday that McLaren will have an early advantage when the season starts in Melbourne on March 16 because they have built the new electronics system which all teams must use this year.
"It will be a difficult season. But we can aim for the same result as last year. We are working with humility and we also respect our opponents. Our car is competitive however, just like our drivers," he said.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage