Will Fernando Alonso go to Ferrari in 2011? Here’s why I think so (Poll)

Fernando Alonso in Ferrari overalls in 2011? (Image by Vittorio Alfieri)

Fernando Alonso in Ferrari overalls in 2011? (Image by Vittorio Alfieri)

Rumours about Fernando Alonso joining Ferrari kept surfacing last year but seemed to have been killed off when the Scuderia revealed it had extended Kimi Raikkonen’s contract.

So what do we make of the fresh rumours of Alonso joining the team in 2011? Here’s why I think they make a lot of sense.

The best team and the best driver

The best drivers in F1 always gravitate towards the best team: think of Ayrton Senna at Alain Prost at McLaren in the 1980s, then squabbling over the seats at Williams a few years later.

Ferrari have consistently built the best or among the best F1 cars in every season this decade. And Alonso is the best driver in F1 at the moment. He’s the man you hire if you’ve built a championship-winning car and want to make sure you get both the titles. Yes, there are plenty of other drivers who can get the job done, but if you had to pick the driver you could most rely on to take care of it, you’d have to pick Alonso.

That’s why Ferrari plus Alonso makes sense: they are two parties made for each other.

A reliable source

When Autosport ran the new Alonso-to-Ferrari rumour they credited it to “respected journalist Pino Allievi”. James Allen on his blog added:

I have known Pino for almost 20 years and in that time I?m struggling to think of a single occasion on which he has wrongly called a move by Ferrari. He has excellent connections there, going back to Enzo Ferrari?s time. So you can take it as read that this story is true. And it will really shake things up in F1.

Timing

There’s a symmetry with this and the timing of the announcement in 2005 of Alonso’s move to McLaren. That deal was done shortly after the Brazilian Grand Prix and made public over the winter of 2005/06.

The timing of the deal also makes sense from the point of view of what we know about existing contracts: Both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have deals in place until the end of 2010.

The future of Renault

When Alonso decided to leave Renault in 2005 his decision was partly motivated by uncertainty over the team’s future. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn later confirmed Renault’s participation in F1 and has said they will remain in the sport until at least 2012.

But in these uncertain financial times is Alonso wagering the French manufacturer will leave F1 sooner rather than later? Is he unimpressed with how the team lagged behind on engine development in 2008?

Do you believe the Alonso-to-Ferrari-in-2011 rumour?

  • Yes (82%)
  • No (18%)

Total Voters: 569

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47 comments on Will Fernando Alonso go to Ferrari in 2011? Here’s why I think so (Poll)

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  1. Well that makes two of us that think this Keith. Good company for me to be in. But don’t get Grace started on this rant…she says no way its happening. That’s our Grace. :)

    Good summation and reasoning but I’ve come to expect no less my friend. ;)

  2. Patrickl said on 2nd January 2009, 7:25

    The way Alonso has been courting Ferrari, I’d say he was desperate to go there. On the other hand, why would anyone sign a contract so far in advance? Ferrari has had pretty long spells where their cars were pretty poor. In two years time they might be midfielders again.

  3. Michael said on 2nd January 2009, 8:01

    After two more championships at Renault, why not go to Ferrari. I think if Ferrari give him no. 1 status there, they will be guaranteed both championships. You can’t say that for any other driver.

  4. Alex Cooper said on 2nd January 2009, 8:48

    Personally I reckon Bernie has a hand in this; he wants to rekindle Lewis v. Fernando.

    I can’t see Ferrari asking either present driver, though, to start playing second fiddle to Alonso.
    So who will be his team-mate??

  5. John Spencer said on 2nd January 2009, 9:14

    Well, James Allen is very confident about it, so it’s got to be true.

    It does sound like Alonso is being lined up as Raikkonen’s replacement in the same way that Montezemolo lined up Raikkonen as Schumacher’s replacement (before Schumacher was ready to go). But will Raikkonen hang around in F1 for a full two seasons? I can’t remember a previous occasion when a world champion has had such a dip in performance/motivation and then recovered it the following season. Normally, a dip in motivation is a prelude to a graceful retirement (eg Hakkinen, Hill).

    If Raikkonen decides to retire at the end of 2009 – (at the age of 30!) – Alonso will surely jump in for 2010, but would he be happy with Massa as a team mate? I think he’d look wistfully at Michael Schumacher’s relationship with Ferrari, and hanker after that. Maybe he’ll take Nelson Piquet with him….

  6. Pete Walker said on 2nd January 2009, 9:20

    Another factor that adds weight to the rumours: Flavio Briatore recently revealed his plans to retire after the 2010 season. After his golden boy moves on, so will he.

  7. the GMM already runs the As story that Alonso rejected “immediate move to Ferrari from 2009″ …

    these rumours will keep coming and going until Alonso moves to Maranello …

    will he ? I believe so, as long as Ferrari remains on top that is …

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd January 2009, 0:14

      That story’s from Diario AS, which is why it’s not on here – I’ve been warned off them a couple of times.

      Autosport have suggested on a couple of occasions that Raikkonen’s contract renewal this year was automatic because he’d achieved certain objectives in his contract based on number of points scored or something. But Ferrari don’t pay him an eight-figure sum to achieve his contractual minimum.

      But choosing which – if any – sources to believe on this kind of thing is very tricky. A few months ago Alan Henry was convinced Alonso was off to Honda.

  8. Eddie Irvine said on 2nd January 2009, 10:43

    I voted NO because it’s to early for someone to join a team. Alonso always wanted to be in a top team, he can’t be sure that Ferrari will be in a higher level of performance than Renault after three years.

  9. Arthur954 said on 2nd January 2009, 11:32

    When Uncle Flav retires at the end of 2010, and Renault might want to pull out of F1, this might coincide with the desire of MERCEDES of buying a f1 team. Perhaps they could buy the Renault team with Alonso included.

    I vote NO for Alonso to Ferrari – how boring ! Ferrari is The Establishment, it is a lot more fun to be racing against them. It is a team full of politics and intrigue.

    This would be great thing : Alonso, two more succesful years at least with Renault, and then something exciting like Mercedes ? With the new cost – cutting and standarization rules coming in place, what is Ferrari going to offer Alonso, performance – wise, that Renault with their supercomputer and their competence cannot ? NO to Alonso – Ferrari !!! how boring !!!

  10. Not really a reason as such, but Santander to Ferrari wont hurt Alonso’s chances either.

  11. Daniel said on 2nd January 2009, 13:31

    I think Ferrari now has the best line-up possible, with two great drivers that respect each other, which is very rare… I totally agree that Alonso is currently the best driver, but relying solely on the team leader can take you to a 1999 scenario, when, once Schumacher broke his leg, Irvine made the impossible losing that title…

  12. NO;
    I don’t believe in these rumors. As mentioned in the post; the match between the best team and best driver is imminent. But are Ferrari and Alonso the best team and best drivers respectively?

    Although; I am very much a Ferrari fan; I fully know, they cost Massa the title. Cars are fast, alright; but are they always reliable? and what about the pit crew?

    And I seriously don’t think Alonso is the best driver. His 2 wins came in the last 4 races; when most of the field had made their final improvements and were looking towards 2009. If you see; even Nelson Piquet who is dreadfully slow; was in a commanding position at Japan.

    If I was Luca; I would be looking for a pairing of Vettel and Massa.

  13. I don’t believe Alonso would have signed a contract for three years in the future, but I do think he will go to Ferrari at some point. Alonso is in a good position at the moment and is able to keep his options open – any of the teams in the pitlane (except McLaren) would employ him at the blink of an eye. He doesn’t need to sign a contract with Ferrari yet, he can bide his time and see which team is really his best option.

  14. I think he’ll go. These long term option type contracts usually contain “out” clauses for both parties, based on performance levels.

    If we can get rid of Luca, I’d actually root for Alonso in a Ferrari. Give Lewis the fair fight he couldn’t give when they were both driving for Ron.

    Off topic, can anyone explain Lewis’s latest accolade to this non-Brit? Does this MBE award now require us to call him “Sir Lewis”? Or is it the first step to Knighthood?

  15. Alastair said on 2nd January 2009, 14:02

    Who says Ferrari are going to dominate in 2011? Past performance is not an indicator of future performance, as we well know. Renault and Mclaren stomped all over Ferrari in 2005 and the next three years have not been a walk in the park for Ferrari, especially with reliability.

    Alonso has the opportunity to build a team around himself right now and win championships. The only reason I can see him going to Ferrari is to get the kind of money currently being paid to Kimi and the Mclaren door is well and truly closed.

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