Motor

Ferrari boss dismisses lineup fear

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SINGAPORE (AP)

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali dismissed predictions of infighting when Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen combine as teammates next year, saying such talk is being waged by jealous rivals.

Many leading figures of F1, both past and present, have predicted friction between the two leading drivers, but Domenicali said he thinks they are simply worried about Ferrari's potential improvement.

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"Maybe they have fear, because we are strong," Domenicali said on Thursday ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, adding that this was "part of the game, part of the psychological war of this environment."

He also praised outgoing driver Felipe Massa for accepting his departure "with a serenity he showed which is not common in this world."

Raikkonen said both he and Alonso were mature enough to be able to resolve any problems that may arise between the two world champions.

"I don't see the reason why it would not work," Raikkonen said. "We are all old enough to know what we are doing. ... If there is something, I am sure we can sort it through."

The Finn said money trouble at his current team Lotus was part of the reason why he opted to return to Ferrari, where he was ousted at the end of 2009 to make way for Alonso.

"The reasons I left the team are on the money side," Raikkonen said. "I have not got my salary, it's an unfortunate thing."

Sauber driver Nico Hulkenberg was also strongly considered for Ferrari in 2014, but said he was not angry at being overlooked.

"There was a chance there," Hulkenberg said. "There is no point in thinking about that too much -- that is history now.

"The relationship (with Ferrari) is as good and positive as it was before."

Hulkenberg and Massa are considered the leading candidates to replace Raikkonen at Lotus next season, with the German saying "I am still trying to sort out all the options."

Massa confirmed his management was already in talks with other teams about the possibility of a 2014 seat, but he would not consider offers from backmarker teams.

"We are talking with some teams and I hope we find the better direction for me," Massa said. "I want to find a good car. I am not interested to be in Formula One just to be part of the grid."

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