Michael Schumacher believes that Ferrari's decision to pair Kimi Raikkonen alongside Fernando Alonso for the next two seasons has the potential to generate an "explosive" season, one, the German believes, that will excite fans.

Schumacher, a seven time Formula 1 World Champion, enjoyed clear and undisputed number one status during his 11 seasons with the Italian team, during which he won five of his seven world titles, before being replaced by Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.

While between the 2007 and 2009 season, Raikkonen and Felipe Massa arguably shared the same duties, the priority status was reinstated from 2010, when Fernando Alonso replaced the Finn alongside Massa.

Ferrari's Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali, insisted that both drivers will be given the same treatment and the Italian team's decision to employ their first all-World Champion line-up since Alberto Ascari and Giuseppe Farina in 1953 has been met with widespread enthusiasm by both, media and fans alike.

Schumacher, however, believes that the prospect of two of the sport's household names battling it out against each other in the same team could lead to an explosive 2014, particularly given that neither Alonso nor Raikkonen are known for being the most accommodating of characters.

Speaking to Germany's Bild newspaper, Schumacher said: "Ferrari with Fernando and Kimi, that sounds like an explosive mixture.

"For motorsport fans it [the pairing] will certainly be a sensation, and for the competition tough to crack," continued the 44-year-old."It will be exciting to watch."

Schumacher's concerns are shared by another former Ferrari, Alain Prost, who told a French TV channel that he believes Raikkonen's hiring was dictated by Ferrari's need to send a strong message to Alonso as much as to their rivals.

"Alonso is no longer going to be the undisputed number one driver," said Prost, "and I'm not sure Domenicali will be able to manage the pairing as well as Jean Todt or Ross Brawn would have done in the past."

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Formula 1