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)

  1. bernification said on 3rd January 2009, 0:21

    I was going to vote yes, and then changed my mind.

    I think he may go to Ferrari in 2011 or 10, but I think he’s far too astute to sign a contract now that is that far in the future.

    I seriously believed that Alonso was going to go to Honda. I think he probably thought long and hard about it. Renault maybe only managed to secure his services with their late resurgence and the fact he will have clear No. 1 status (would that have happened with Button?). The fact he is rumoured to be paid $46 mill. will have helped too, but who knows what he would have been paid if he went to Honda. And what a court case that would be now.

    None of these drivers want to get tied up in legal contracts that are both messy and costly, and least of all with Ferrari. I think he’s been flirting with Ferrari, as they have with him, and probably like he’s had to for the last couple of years following his McLaren debacle, in order to get a seat.
    But I don’t think that he’s signed yet. He’s far to shrewd.

    BTW. does this journalist work for the same newspaper that gave us the ‘scoop’ about Honda’s reprise?

  2. Gman said on 3rd January 2009, 6:08

    I think the most important thing to remember is that a great deal can change in F1 between now and 2011, so who knows what will shake down at Renualt in that timespan. Flavio loves to keep everyone guessing, and the company may not wish to kepe the team plugigng if their star driver is less-than-enthusiastic about the operation

    Dose Fernando want to go to Ferrari? Absolutley! For as good as he is, he’s got the biggest ego on the grid today, and since he worked his way out of one of the the top two teams, it’s only a matter of time before he tries to get into the other top team- perhaps in order to get back at McLaren as much as anything else.

    The big question will be if Ferrari wants him powering the team in the future- to me, it’s either Fernando or Vettel that Ferrari want. Fred brings two world titles and a legion of followers, but Vettel is the one whom I feel they want more, and the’ll only take Alonso if it dosen;t interfear with them snagging Vettel in the future.

  3. beneboy

    No offence mate

    Non taken.

    but the guy folded like a Blackpool deckchair at McLaren. His mental strength, or lack of it, is one of the main reasons I wouldn’t want him at Ferrari. He sulked when he realised Lewis was a fast driver & threatened the team to try to get himself the number 1 status he so clearly needs.

    That’s not quite my reading of the situation. Ron bought Fernando to McLaren to win the championship. If he had said to Alonso that he was gonna come to play second fiddle to a rookie do you think Alonso would have gone? No. Ron folded when he didn’t have the balls to tell his second love child to move over and let the man he brought to McLaren to win the championship win. That’s why they lost the championship. Of course Alonso was ****** because he new he could have won it. He had been misled and that’s why he tried to hold the team to ransom. You have to be a bit of a nutter to do that and believe me it takes mental strength to stand up to powerful people and big organizations.

    At Ferrari I would hope that they give Alonso the respect he deserves. Like Schumacher he can bring something to the team beyond just driving. Michael Schumacher never asked for number 1 status he demanded it. Do you think he as a two time world champion would have gone to crappy old Ferrari who had barely won a race for 25 years, drag his friends and some of the most talented people in F1 with him to try and restore the prancing horse just so some other bugger could win the first championship for Ferrari in 30 years? No. That’s why he demanded number 1 status because no-one else could do what he did. And let’s not kid ourselves and believe that Michael Schumacher made up team orders because Hakkinnen benefited similarly from number one status as did many others before. It’s part of what used to make F1 a team sport and secretly it still does.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd January 2009, 13:56

      I don’t think anyone would hire a reigning two-times world champion and then not give him the same opportunity to win the championship as his rookie team mate. I think Alonso is the best driver in F1 – but Hamilton’s not far behind and Alonso knows it.

      Alonso at Ferrari and Hamilton at McLaren… roll on 2011 I say!

  4. I couldn’t agree more.

  5. beneboy said on 3rd January 2009, 14:36

    I’m with Keith on this one K, the idea of Alonso playing second fiddle to Hamilton just doesn’t cut it with me.
    Ron would not pay so much to bring Alonso into the team only to have him there making up the numbers.

    Ron & Lewis’s relationship may be a very close one due to their history together but as far as I could see both drivers were given an equal opportunity to win that season.

    Your analysis of the Schumi-Ferrari relationship is spot on K but Ferrari are no longer that team that are plodding along in the midfield, they are arguably the most dominant team in the sport today and along with McLaren are the joint favourite to win for the next few seasons.
    They no longer need a dominant driver who gets all of the support, they should be giving both drivers a chance to compete until such time that one can no longer win the championship.

    As a Ferrari fan the last season was one that I enjoyed a lot more than a few of the ones Schumi dominated. For a lot of races we had two cars fighting for the win and until the last couple of races they were left to fight it out amongst themselves (and Lewis).
    I’d rather see two good drivers racing each other within the team than one being handed all of the wins.

    I don’t want to sound like some sort of idealist but I watch F1 to see exciting racing and while I do want Ferrari to win everything I don’t want it at the expense of the racing.

    The Schumacher years were a great time for many Ferrari fans as we finally got the success we’d wanted after a lifetime of waiting (literally, I was born in 1979) but I’d hate to go back to processional & predictable racing that we got so often at that time.

    • I agree with Keith, my original point was that Ron brought Alonso to McLaren to win the championship and that it wasn’t exactly cricket to let Hamilton get in the way of that especially since he didn’t actually bring home the bacon.

      I was (am?) actually a Schumi fan as opposed to a Ferrari fan and let me tell you there was nothing I enjoyed more than watching the greatest F1 driver making history. It wasn’t boring for me it was a privilege to be able to witness such a master in his life time. Besides you can have a good race without having a change of leader, there are 20 or so other cars out there you just need a good production team to make the most of it.

    • Also most teams currently and throughout F1 history have had a recognized number 1 driver. Hamilton at McLaren, Kubica at BMW, Alonso at Renault, Vettel at STR, Rosberg at Williams, Fisichella at Force India, the problem that Red Bull and Toyota have is that both their drivers are recognized number twos lol.

  6. beneboy said on 3rd January 2009, 19:09

    the problem that Red Bull and Toyota have is that both their drivers are recognized number twos lol

    Ha Ha Ha !
    Quality mate, if a little harsh on Mark Webber (maybe).

    As far as I see it it was Alonso’s job to go out there and bring home the results, Hamilton’s job was the same. The only time Hamilton should have stopped racing Alonso is if Hamilton could no longer win the Championship & Alonso could. That never happened, the fact that Kimi ended up beating them is irrelevant, while they both had the opportunity to win they should both be allowed to try.
    By your logic Massa should have conceded to Kimi this season & let him go for the Championship as Kimi was the reigning Champion, this would have been madness as Massa was always in the fight and the fact that he ultimately lost out to Lewis doesn’t change anything.

    Don’t get me wrong mate, I love Schumi and I’ve yet to find a new “favourite” to replace him since he retired. I also loved watching him annihilate the competition, the way he drove those Ferraris was amazing to see.

    I still stand by the fact that I’ve enjoyed watching the last season more than many others in the last 10-15 years, the fight for the lead & the Championship is the most important fight on the track.

    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one though, after all it’s a matter of preference. You’d like to see Alonso in a Ferrari & I don’t, I doubt we’ll ever change each others minds (especially if you’re as stubborn as me).

  7. Lady Snowcat said on 3rd January 2009, 20:48

    No-one has answered the point that Fernando needs a guy in charge that is like Flav….

    Stephano is not that guy… and he is Ferrari born and bred….

    Sorry but they are not at all well suited… and that pairing would not make for a team of happy campers… and we know what happens when Fernando is not ‘appy…

  8. The Limit said on 6th January 2009, 2:39

    Following the events of 2007, I am sceptical of Fernando Alonso signing any contract two years ahead of time. I do not consider Alonso to be a fool, and only a fool would make the same mistake twice.
    No one knows for sure what kind of carrot Ron Dennis dangled infront of Fernando’s eyes back in 2005, fresh from winning his first title with a very dominant Renault team. At the time, what did McLaren offer that Renault did not?
    Renault were fast and reliable. McLaren were fast but temperamental. Alonso had a team mate well within his control, Raikkonen on the other hand had Montoya to contend with. What then, was the attraction?
    The attraction, had to be the promise of complete control at McLaren, number one driver status. Dennis knew that his golden boy Raikkonen was off to Ferrari sooner rather than later, the relationship with Montoya was rapidly falling apart.
    Here was the youngest champion in F1 history, its newest idol, for the taking. A man who had made no secret of his desire to race with the McLaren brand, Aryton Senna’s team, his boyhood hero.
    For Ferrari to claim Alonso, then nothing short of total devotion will do. All the great drivers need this in a team, even Schumacher and Senna, the ability to dictate, the assumption that they will get the best of everything in the team.
    For Alonso to go to Ferrari, one driver has to go. The pundits are putting money on Raikkonen, but what of Felipe Massa?
    The Brazilian won many hearts over last year at Ferrari for his performances and dignity. He is well liked, well respected, and has powerfull connections within Maranello.
    If Massa stays onboard, and Raikkonen goes, will Massa be content playing second fiddle in a team that he took to within one point of a championship?
    Everybody remembers Alonso’s boast in Japan, that he ‘would do everything to help Massa’ in his fight with Hamilton. We all assumed that this was just Fernando trying to unnerve Lewis and McLaren, but it can be also one way for Fernando to curry favour with a prospective team mate and team.
    When Michael Schumacher announced at Monza in 2006 that he was leaving, nobody was surprised. It was the worst secret in modern F1 history. I am convinced that Alonso, sometime in his career, will drive for the prancing horse. At whose expense, is anybodys guess?

  9. Steven Roy said on 7th January 2009, 2:52

    I think Alonso is massively over-rated and am baffled by constant assertions that he is the best driver in F1 now.

    We saw when he had Hamilton as a team mate that he quite clearly wasn’t better than him. Had it not been for the mistakes at the end of that season Hamilton would have averaged a point a race more than him. As it was Alonso’s face was saved by finishing equal with a rookie.

    The Alonso fans at the end of 2007 suggested that Hamilton would struggle in 2008 because Ferando was doing all the set up work and Hamilton was simply copying it. What happened? Despite the best efforts of the FIA Hamilton won the championship in his second season and first as team leader. The people who suggested that the set ups were copied presumably know so little about the sport that they though Alonso’s understeering car and Hamilton’s oversteering car had the same set up.

    I also disagree that Alonso is consistent every race. When he is on it he is great from the first lap to the last but there were races even when Fisichella was his team mate where he looked second best and that was not because Fisichella for two weekends a season suddenly had world champion potential.

    Alonso cracked when Hamilton started messing with his head in Hungary. If a rookie can do that to him by not letting him overtake in a qualifying session what is going to happen when the whole of Italy is on his case if things are not going well?

    By 2011 Hamilton will be going into his fifth year in F1. If Alonso couldn’t deal with him when he was a rookie what is going to happen when he has 4 years experience? Ferrari and McLaren with equal cars would give a big advantage to McLaren because of the drivers.

    Raikkonen has a contract for 2010. If he were to win a championship this year or look like winning one in 2010 are Ferrari going to risk de-stabilising things by signing Alonso? Also Alonso has presumably learned from the McLaren experience not to sign too early and to be absolutely certain what he is getting into.

    We have heard the Alonso to Ferrari rumours for several seasons now and no doubt we will keep hearing them until he signs or retires. We were hearing ‘from good sources’ that he was definitely going to Ferrari when he had signed for McLaren. The stories are bull and are published mainly by Diario AS. These are the people lets remember who a few months ago were suggesting that Alonso and Raikkonen were going to swap drives just before Kimi signed on at Ferrari for another year. The morons at that rag thought it was possible that Kimi would choose to leave Ferrari to go to Renault. They are blind Alonso fans and have no sense of reality.

    For me it has been obvious since the early part of 2007 that Lewis Hamilton is clearly the best driver o the grid and I am not the only person with that view. Remember Frank Williams’s comment. When Schumacher retired we thought we are all in with a chance and then along comes another superhuman. And he wasn’t talking about Alonso.

  10. AussieLeb said on 9th January 2009, 13:27

    As mentioned previously, as usual Keith has come up with an interesting subject and his own stance for discussion. Yet as usual I have my own point for consideration.

    No doubt Alonso is or rather has been one of the top drivers in F1 for some time and it could be said that he may be in 2011. I have the feeling at his age though, that we may have or will have seen the best of Alonso by then and at best we could expect to see 1, maybe 2 championship seasons with Ferrari, in and after 2011, if he were to go to Ferrari.

    Some may know that I am a fan of the red cars and as of 2008 I am also a fan of Vettel. Having set my blinkers down, I still feel it would be a shame if Vettel doesn’t get a drive in a top tier car in the very near future. The things he achieved in 08 with what he had, coupled with his age, must hold some appeal to a team searching for raw talent and longevity. Much like McLaren have done with Hamilton. Wouldn’t it be great to see the German vs British rivalry return?

  11. KIMI SHOULD REJOIN MCLAREN IN 2010

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