Ferrari bosses are insistent that their recruitment of Kimi Raikkonen as Felipe Massa's replacement is in no way a snub to current number one driver Fernando Alonso.
It was confirmed on Wednesday that the 33-year-old Finn would join the Italian team on a two-year contract at the beginning of next season.
Raikkonen won the world title with Ferrari in 2007, leaving the team two years later to pursue a rally driving career, then returning to Formula One in 2012 to drive for Lotus.
Ferrari have not won a drivers championship since Raikkonen's triumph, with Alonso consistently failing to match the performances of Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.
However team boss, Stefano Domenicali, was keen to back his star man saying the pairing of Rainkonnen and the Spaniard was "the best [combination] one could have today in Formula 1".
"For anyone thinking the choice of Kimi is somehow an anti-Alonso choice, I can put their minds at rest," he added.
"At Ferrari, everyone knows the interests of the team come first. Fernando is a key asset for this team and he will be for a long time."
Domenicali said that when Raikkonen joined the team the two drivers would be treated equally and that Alonso was "the first to be happy with a choice made to strengthen the group, because he is too intelligent not to realise that a stronger team can only be an advantage".
"For the first time (since 1953), we will have a driver pairing made up of two world champions, which in itself is already significant, as they are the sort to always try and win and they can help each other by taking valuable points off our rivals," he added.
"Having said that, we are well aware that without a competitive car, not even Superman can win. So our priority on a daily basis is always the same, namely to give our drivers a car capable of always fighting for the top place."
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