Alonso-Ferrari rumours return

Fernando Alonso is still being touted as a future Ferrari driver despite the Italian team having signed up Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa until the end of 2010.

Spanish Banco Santander apparently wants to get back together with Spain’s F1 hero Fernando Alonso. Dieter Rencken in the Autosport Journal (sub. req.) explains how Alonso might yet elbow Raikkonen aside:

Would Santander be satisfied with the patently underperforming Kimi when it really craves Fernando as logo bearer? If rumours doing the rounds after Alonso’s sensational win in Singapore have any legs, Santander could see its wishes fulfilled sooner rather than later.

Allegedly the bank has offered to buy out the full balance of Raikkonen’s contract (two years at an estimated $50m per annum) and fund Alonso’s similar demands for the same period – in addition to its title sponsorship of the Italian team, and at least two race sponsorships.

According to the source the deal has already been done, and could be announced within weeks…

But Alan Henry writing for Autocar reckons Santander will stick with McLaren because of the PR value of Lewis Hamilton:

Abbey is to be entirely re-branded Santander over the next couple of years, as will be the recently-acquired Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley businesses.

[...]

You have to ask yourself the following question: if you were planning a renewed commercial assault on UK High Street business over the next couple of years, would you want it based around Felipe Massa? Kimi Raikkonen? Or Lewis Hamilton?

Where Santander choose to put their money could have a significant bearing on who gets some of F1′s most coveted drives in the future.

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34 comments on Alonso-Ferrari rumours return

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  1. Dan M said on 9th October 2008, 14:49

    Banks are failing left and right and apparently they have the money to pay Kimi 100mil, Alonso a similar figure and still pay to host two races at Bernie’s Price?

    Seems like a steep price to pay.

  2. It’s heartening to see that in these times of financial worry, there are companies around with the correct priorities who are willing to make sound investments…

  3. shostak said on 9th October 2008, 15:54

    Santander is not affected with the global crysis because they dont have subprimes. Santander’s Chairman, Emilio Botín, meet Alonso in Monza half an hour. Botín want to have Alonso in Ferrari if Santander sponsor Ferrari.

  4. @ shostak
    Neither did Dutch/Belgian bank Fortis, but they were taken over by the Dutch government/sold to a French bank nevertheless.

  5. shostak said on 9th October 2008, 16:34

    Emilio Botín, as he says, only buy a bank which he knows very well. This is his policy. Spanish banks only give credit to people with solid guarantees.
    European banks have gone bankrupt while not a single Spanish bank is in that situation.

  6. Here’s an idea, go to renault Santander.

  7. shostak said on 9th October 2008, 16:51

    He cant, because ING sponsor Renault. xD

  8. beneboy said on 9th October 2008, 16:57

    Please Santander, give your money to McLaren.

    I don’t want to see your ugly branding all over the Ferrari’s & I do not want that dodgy unibrowed fool driving one of them either.

    Kimi will do better next season and even if he doesn’t then buying out Vettel’s or Kubica’s contract for 2010 will be much cheaper & has the added advantage of them not being complete w*’~#%s !

  9. How long have Santander been wanting this? Is this what Kimi was mumbling about earlier in the year?

  10. With this horrible crisis wich is affecting too many people´s life it is a bad joke to speak about these sums of money. Noone has to believe a single word that this COULD be true.
    And do not forget, we all will pay the rubish that the banks have done.

  11. Could swear a read this couple months back

  12. Aaron Shearer said on 9th October 2008, 20:26

    I think there may be a slight chance this will actually happen. Just wait till Melbourne next year and you’ll see who’s driving the 1st or 2nd red car. Then and only then you will see if its the Spaniard or the Fin.

    I seriously don’t see why the drivers need to be paid millions a year. In my opinion they should all be paid the same per year something like £750,000. There is simply no need for $38,000,00 which Kimi is earning.

    Hopefully Alonso moves to Honda that Rubens or Jenson will move to Renault in a straight swap. There’s no point in losing a talented driver from it.

    If this rumours are true great for Alonso but unlucky for Raikkonen who will presumably be left without a drive for 2009 if Alonso gets his seat. Where would Raikkonen go? Renault, Honda or Toro Rosso ?

  13. footfarmer said on 9th October 2008, 20:37

    Banco Santander and it’s UK subsidiary Abbey have both lost ground recently, Abbey is nearly half the value it was 12 months ago.. this has to hurt Santander.. if the banking & insurance sectors fall further a number of teams could suffer and then it’s just ferrari with their Abu Dhabi money and probably force india..!!
    Interesting showdown for 2010, a bio-diesel Tata engined team SsongYang romps home with just Max Mosley cheering from the deserted stands.. with Luca still whinging somewhere in the tumbleweed paddock.. and Fernando complaining that the cab he drives to the stadium isn’t good enough..

  14. If Santander is willing to shell out this amount of cash then they must be in pretty good shape, but I really don’t see why they would be so much better off with Fernando than Lewis as their leading man. Sure they are a Spanish outfit but also with global reach, and Lewis is just as good of a face as any to have on their branding.

    I really don’t have anything against Fernando, and sure he is a well-deserving double world champion, but I don’t think I will ever understand the endless compulsion so many people have with him. I hate to beat a dead horse on this post, but as of this week we are now in a climate where all of North America has no races next season, but Spain get two- both of which produce dull racing- and it’s all due to one nation suddenly discovering F1 because of his success. Dosen’t make much sense in my book…..

  15. if Kimi is without a Drive, there is no reason to watch. Hamilton, Alonso and Massa would be a pointless championship as none are interesting to watch race.

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