Stewart backing Alonso to hold edge

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Sir Jackie Stewart believes Fernando Alonso, pictured, can be top dog at Ferrari this season Sir Jackie Stewart believes Fernando Alonso, pictured, can be top dog at Ferrari this season

Sir Jackie Stewart is backing Fernando Alonso to have the edge over Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari this season - providing he does not let the Finn get under his skin.

The battle of the former world champions is one of the more intriguing duels to be played out this Formula One season that gets under way in less than seven weeks' time in Australia.

Alonso and Raikkonen officially began their partnership on Saturday with the unveiling of Ferrari's new challenger for 2014 - the F14T.

Fireworks are expected at some stage during the campaign, especially if 2007 champion Raikkonen manages to outshine Alonso, who won back-to-back titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006.

Alonso demonstrated his unhappiness last season when things were not going well at Ferrari when it is understood his manager held talks with Red Bull with regard to a possible move.

Questioned as to who he expected to win the fight ahead, three-times world champion Stewart said: "Probably Fernando. He's probably got the best toolkit up here (tapping the side of his head)."

However, when asked whether Alonso might begin to have an issue if Raikkonen proves to be as competitive, Stewart suggested his Latin temperament could get the better of him.

"He will. He's still Spanish," added Stewart.

"If he allows Kimi to upset him....because the one thing I learned is emotion is the most dangerous thing you can have.

"If you start getting emotional, you do and say things you wish later you had never done or said. You behave differently and you make mistakes.

"If you block out something after getting angry, you might say 'Oh forget it. I didn't mean it', but other people remember it.

"Look at what happened when it was announced Kimi would be going to Ferrari - he (Alonso) rushed straight over to Red Bull and saw the team principal (Christian Horner). That wasn't going to gain anything.

"Kimi is cooler because he is Finnish, and Finns are considerably less emotional. He is also a mature, almost cautious driver now.

"But look at the results he's had, the podiums. He's done that because he is consistent and he had a good car and knew how to drive it. Very seldom do you see Kimi stretched."

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