Mid-Season Review: Alonso vs. Raikkonen

Ferrari F1

Ahead of F1's return to action at Spa we're taking a look at how the drivers are faring against their team-mates. Next up, two World Champions having very different seasons at Ferrari.

Ahead of the 2014 campaign, many felt that the most intriguing intra-team battle on the grid would be fought at Ferrari. The combination of two former World Champions in Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, both top-draw racers and extremely tough characters, looked fascinating.

And it has been - but not for the reasons we expected.

Because the Ferrari team-mate battle has proven to be the most one-side of the current season. There is no hiding from the fact that Alonso has trounced Raikkonen, leading to questions over the Finn's future in the sport.

Fernando Alonso: Highest start: 4th. Highest finish: 2nd

Alonso may not have won a race this year, but the Spaniard has been as good as ever in 2014 - if not better. He continues to drag an underperforming car to places it has no business; how he was in the mix to win in Hungary is anyone's guess.

The intra-team stats are quite incredible: Alonso is the only driver to finish ahead of his team-mate at every single race this season, and on more than one occasion he has taken the chequered flag a full minute clear of Raikkonen. Fernando has 115 World Championship points, Kimi 27; that leaves them fourth and 12th respectively in the standings, by far the biggest gulf between team-mates.

How does he maintain his motivation? Perhaps the lure of a new $50m per season deal is what keeps Fernando at the top of his game. But regardless of that, there is no question that he has been a star performer this term.

Kimi Raikkonen: Highest start: 5th. Highest finish: 6th

Kimi hasn't simply forgotten how to be fast this year. The 2014 Ferrari clearly does not suit him, while team-mate Alonso has four season's experience at the team and is more used to working around a poor car. When did Raikkonen last have to do that? 2009 - the year he walked away from the sport to switch to the WRC.

But he must shoulder some of the blame. Drivers of his experience who earn $22m a season should be able to handle anything. Kimi needs to up his game, just as the team must improve their car.

It's not all doom and gloom: he has out-qualified Alonso a handful of times and drove well in Hungary to climb from 16th to 6th. Hardly vintage Raikkonen though, is it?

Can he recover? It's probably not down to him any more. If Ferrari give him a good car in 2015 then yes, Kimi could be back on the podium. But if it's another stinker Alonso will continue to drive rings around him - and that would be a sad end to a great F1 career.

VERDICT: Alonso by a significant margin.