Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes Fernando Alonso's personality will prove more suited to the team than his predecessor Kimi Raikkonen.
Alonso's long-anticipated move to the Maranello squad was finally officially confirmed yesterday, as was the early termination of Raikkonen's contract after three years at Ferrari.
"It's a matter of personality, because Kimi is the type of person that shows little emotion, he keeps everything inside," di Montezemolo was quoted as saying by Gazzetta dello Sport. "These things don't help with the exchange of information inside the team. In any case I'm thankful to Raikkonen – he brought us a championship that we will not forget.
"We needed a team player, and I think Alonso is that, considering also all the good things our team boss, [Stefano] Domenicali, has told me about him. But it's also up to us not to make mistakes. Fernando is a great driver and a charismatic man, I expect a lot from him."
Di Montezemolo also praised Alonso's recent performances for Renault, and said his move to Ferrari had galvanised the Tifosi.
"Have you seen what kind of race he did at Singapore last Sunday? It was exhilarating!" said di Montezemolo. "For months people on the street have approached me to ask me: 'When will you hire Alonso?' I can recall such levels of enthusiasm only before the deal with [Michael] Schumacher, many years ago.
"Alonso and [Felipe] Massa will be a great pairing, an all-latin pairing. I believe very much in Felipe's recovery."