Dear Kimi and Fernando,
You better pay attention to what I have to say.
Yes, you have no choice but to read this letter together—because from now on, you are a unit, a team, merged entities, gladiators, even. Don’t worry, I shan’t merge your names and give you a Hollywood-esque monicker, even I draw the line at that.
Remember 2001, when you two were tipped to be The Future of Formula One and fans and experts salivated at the very thought of having you two in the same team in the future? I was one of those wide-eyed, idealistic fans hoping and praying you two would get together (obviously not in a fanfic sort of way–that’s just weird) just to see and experience the…sheer awesomeness of it. Remember when it almost happened in 2010, but due to certain circumstances which I shan’t discuss anymore, that deal spectacularly collapsed and I had to nurse a proverbial broken heart until Kimi returned to F1 in 2012? But enough about my reminiscing, it has finally happened and a lot has to be said, so whether you like it or not, you’re just going to have to read on and deal.
Anyway, here’s the lowdown: First of all, while I am aware of this “All’s fair in love and war” cliché, I still want, nay, demand, a clean and fair fight between the two of you, okay (I may have side-eyed you there, Fernando)? You both have different ways of dealing with conflict—Avoidance (Kimi) and Passive-Aggressiveness (Nando), but you need to dig deep and channel your inner fierce warriors towards the rest of the field, not towards each other. The Mind Games and Politicking? They may be part and parcel of F1, but you need to get a grip and realize that they may do more harm than good, so screw them and just focus on the most important thing: Racing Your Socks Off.
Also, the Constructor’s Title needs to come back to Ferrari, you hear me? There has to be a scarlet-clad driver in every single podium ceremony this season, but most especially in Monza. I need to rekindle my…F1 Feelings again, and you will help me do it in every possible way that you can, capiche?
Kimi, let me just say that although I had my share of trepidation when I found out about your Ferrari return, I have since considerably calmed down and it has now been replaced by excitement. Cautious excitement, but still, a step in the positive feelings’ spectrum. All I can say is that as a loyal fan of yours, I trust in your judgment, and wherever you are happy, I shall support you. In short, win and score as many points as you can. That’s an order, Mr. Raikkonen.
And Nando, I’ll come clean: I like Kimi a whole lot more than you, so of course I’d want him to win the Championship this year. I’m just keeping it real, bro. Then again, if you can prove to be the much better driver and be able to beat Kimi fair and square (notice how I keep repeating the word ‘fair’ here?), which I know you are very much capable of, then I shall gladly and humbly doff my hat to you. And a word of caution, you don’t want to piss off the legions of Kimi fans around the world, so go easy on your…tactics, okay?
Do I sound harsh? Don’t answer that. The fact is, compared to millions, my aforementioned expectations (and demands) make me seem like an absolute pussycat. The expectations on your shoulders are nothing short of monumental only because the racing world knows of what you two are made of–Pure. Class. For every devoted Tifosi (or a Raikkonen/ Alonso fan), there is a rival fan and ruthless critic who can’t wait to see you two struggle, to be frustrated and to fail. But you know what? For every single non-believer out there, I have the faith and the energy of a thousand suns to support you and in some way or another, make the odds be in your favour.
Whatever happens, you both will always be part of My F1 History. Thank you/ Kiitos/ Gracias for that.
So go on and give us all a good show, gentlemen.
I will be watching. And cheering. And possibly judging–in a constructive manner, mind. But mostly being very supportive, I assure you.
Go forth and be bouncebackable, Men in Red. I believe in you.