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New F1 engineer at Maranello meets Raikkonen

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New F1 engineer at Maranello meets Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has made his first appearance since undergoing back surgery a month ago.

The Finn, who sat out the last two races of his Lotus career, made a visit to Ferrari‘s Maranello headquarters on Tuesday, where he met up with his new race engineer, Antonio Spagnolo.

Italy’s Autosprint said Andrea Stella will remain Fernando Alonso‘s engineer in 2014, which means former Massa engineer Rob Smedley is almost certainly headed to Williams.

It will be a tough gig for Italian Spagnolo, with 2007 world champion Raikkonen famous for his radio impatience during grands prix — his ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’ spiel is now legendary in F1 circles.

With Raikkonen replacing the Williams-bound Felipe Massa, it has been a period of significant change at Ferrari.

Also arriving from Lotus, James Allison is now Ferrari’s clear new technical director, relegating fellow Briton Fry to being in charge simply of trackside operations, according to Italy’s Autosprint.

And Allison said Ferrari’s recent work on updating its wind tunnel and simulator technologies will pay off.

“Now we can say we have moved on from being maybe the fourth or fifth team in terms of the tools we have, to once again being at the cutting edge and everything is in place to open up a new Ferrari era,” he said.

Autosprint said Ferrari will officially launch its 2014 engine, the all-new turbo V6, on Thursday.

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