Fernando Alonso to Ferrari in 2010: Is this F1’s worst-kept secret?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Looking for another team for next year?
Looking for another team for next year?

Every few years in Formula 1 the silly season goes into overdrive while the teams wait for the biggest driver on the market to make his move.

Top drivers and top teams pairing up always has a degree of inevitability about it: like Ayrton Senna joining Williams in 1994, and McLaren signing Kimi Raikkonen in 2002.

Fernando Alonso has been linked to a move to Ferrari ever since his McLaren deal went sour. Will it finally come to be in 2010?

The rumours

As TommyB posted on the forum yesterday, the Spanish press has been buzzing in recent days with rumours claiming Ferrari will announce Alonso’s deal at the Italian Grand Prix.

There doesn’t appear to be much substance behind this latest story. But Ferrari traditionally announce changes in their driver line-up at Monza and the Alonso deal has been tipped for some time. The story may have simply been a means of bolstering traffic during a quiet few days following the latest round of the FIA-FOTA row.

What really gave this story legs was the report in December by Italian journalist Pino Allievi, a man credited by those in the know as having a solid line on developments at Ferrari. Around this time, 82% of F1 Fanatic readers reckoned the deal was on.

Not long afterwards, Gerhard Berger revealed Toro Rosso had been in contract negotiations with Alonso for 2009, but the Spanish driver had said he was looking for a ‘transitional’ year before moving on somewhere else. Berger drew the conclusion that Alonso’s destination team is Ferrari.

The right deal for both parties?

Suspicion has fallen on Kimi Raikkonen as being the Ferrari driver most likely to be moved aside. After winning the championship in 2007 his results tailed off last year, demonstrated by his error-strewn four race streak without a point scored.

Felipe Massa, of course, fared rather better last year – had the rain at Interlagos fallen 30 seconds later his Ferrari would have the number one on it.

Ferrari are believed to have Banco Santander lined up to foot part of the bill – conveniently, their colour schemes match up.

The attraction for Alonso is clear. Ferrari may be off the pace this year, but that is hardly typical of their form over the past decade. Renault, meanwhile, have handed him poor cars two years in a row.

All the progress Renault made throughout 2008, culminating in two victories, turned to naught over the winter as the team lost ground to their rivals despite being handed a significant concession from the FIA to improve their engine performance.

In short, everything seems to be aligned perfectly for Alonso to make that move to Ferrari. And if they are going to keep everyone waiting another two-and-a-half months to announce it, well, that just keeps the opposition guessing…

Read more: Ferrari to confirm Alonso at Monza (F1 Fanatic forum)

137 comments on “Fernando Alonso to Ferrari in 2010: Is this F1’s worst-kept secret?”

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  1. Alonso & Ferrari is a very strong combination. I hope he wins the 2010 title with them

    1. And allows me, to once again, completely and utterly despise Ferrari if Kimi isn’t there.

    2. Hell$torm.
      2nd July 2009, 3:42

      Nothing will happen. i promise you that, ferrari have avery strong driver combination at the moment and thier contracts end at the end of 2010.

      Anyway ferrari dont have the best car in the feild at the moment, weather or not they will next year, i dont know. but they are not in a possition to be firing thier drivers and go “picking drivers out of this years feild”. they will want a stability Luca knows this and they have it in thier drivers, they wont want to risk this while thier car is not up to standard.

      i wish Ferrari would stop “buying” thier drivers, maybe they should have a driver development programme and bring a driver of thier own blood, like mclaren and hamilton, that piad off didnt it?

      1. They’ve talked in the last year or so about developing such a system, but I have yet to see any firm steps taken to start something.

      2. um well – genius Alonso / Ferrai deal is confirmed – LOL – enjoy the 2010 season

    3. Yes I agree this will make F1 fun again

    4. yep alonso will win the championship if he goes to ferrari, he has been the best driver in formula 1 for years…

    5. Alonso wont win the title in 2010 he doesent have it in him and nor does ferrari. Luca was very kiddish by trying to indirectly blame kimi’s involvement with the engineer’s and the team and that being one of the main reason’s to replace him what kimi did in 2009 with that bullockcart ferrari is an acheivement in its self ferrari’s glory days are over.

  2. It would trully be a very strong combination but in my view Ferrari dont have the quality any more that they had in the Schumacher-Brawn-Todt years.

  3. I just had an interesting thought: maybe Banco Santander could replace Marlboro as title sponsor come 2012: Scuderia Ferrari Santander has a nice ring to it.

    1. I actually think that is what will happen, Lustigson, maybe even earlier than 2012. It’ll certainly allow Philip Morris to have a smooth exit.

      And of course, there are those rumors that Vettel will also be headed to Maranello by 2011.

      1. Would love to see Vettel and Alonso at Ferrari – but would Alonso be happy with Vettel as a team mate?

        1. I don’t think that Alonso would do well if he has a teammate that could actually challenge him. He is much more used to being the star of the show.

          But, that will probably be the same whether Alonso’s teammate at Ferrari would be Massa or Vettel. And somehow, I don’t see Vettel’s personality fitting in well with the culture at Ferrari. He seems to be at home with his young, more open team. I think a better fit for Vettel would be for him to take Rubens’ seat when he retires.

          1. It’s about time Ferrari actually got rid of the tobacco advertising like they were supposed to have done several years ago. As Lustington says;

            Scuderia Ferrari Santander has a nice ring to it.

            It certainly does, and as Keith mentioned in the article, white and red on white and red works perfectly.

            Quite what Abbey will do in the UK next year when they can’t use Lewis as the poster child remains to be seen.

            But Alonso moving to Ferrari has been rumoured for so long, it would be a surprise if it turned out not to be true.

            The game of F1 musical chairs is really going to have a massive amounts of bums swapping seats this year, which I see as very welcome following the last 2 or 3 years of the vast majority staying put.

        2. I think Vettel is fine at Red Bull, They could become a force to reckon with in the next few years.

          1. Sush Meerkat
            1st July 2009, 20:14

            You people are mad, you are celebrating the sponsorship?.

            Who cares, give us fast cars, good races free of politics, its a Ferrari piece of engineering, not a Santander balance sheet.

        3. but would Alonso be happy with Vettel as a team mate?

          No doubt on this. Fernando Alonso hadn’t any problem with L Hamilton performance. His concerns were related to Ron Dennis and the Team.

          In fact he spoke recently about that in the Spanish press, and give L Hamilton his dues in terms of skills and capacity. But there was no so much repercussion in the English press (as expected).

          He said (literally) “it was very challenging to compete with someone who pushed strongly, an extra-motivation for me”

          1. Maybe Alonso should have gone to Ferrari when he actually had the chance.

          2. I agree with IDR, Alonso never doubted Lewis but the obvious animosity was toward the team, namely Ron Dennis, for his favouritism.

            I really hope Alosno to Ferrari is not just a rumour, hopefully, where there’s smoke there will be fire. I feel that if you read between the lines, Gerhard Berger knows something we don’t officially know. We all know that Gerhard is very well regarded in Ferrari, he must have some inside scoops.

            It could very well be a Schumacher story here. Won 2 championships with Bennetton and went to Ferrari who were strugling and built up the team to win 5 years in a row.

            I’m not suggesting that he will do exactly that, but in Ferrari’s current conundrum, Fernando is the perfect man for the job. With the resource available to Ferrari and the immense talent of Alonso in car development, they could be champions next year.

            If he goes, it’ll be the first time I’ll be supporting Ferrari since Eddie Irvine’s days!

    2. In that case, it would still be the Banco de Santander Scuderia Ferrari…

  4. I believe he will eventually go to Ferrari, but im not sure when. Its no secret that Alonso has shown full interest to be in Ferrari. But Ferrari must honor Kimi’s contract, he was after all an F1 champion and is a great driver. Things could be hanging on what Kimi is going to do next. If Kimi decides to leave, Alonso will most likely be there..

  5. More interestingly, would Massa welcome such a strong driver in the team with him? Although if they are both treated as equally as Ferrari say they treat their drivers, it would certainly make an exciting combination.
    However, with two hot-headed latin types together, if they fall out, it will be fireworks of a different kind….

  6. SonyJunkie
    1st July 2009, 8:23

    I wouldn’t be surprised if both Kimi & Filipe were replaced at Ferrari in 2010, I can’t see Alonso wanting an overly competitive team mate!!

    1. Ferrari could hire Jr Jr in the Alonso´s package… :)

  7. I hope Vettel goes to Ferrari. Then I wouldn’t have anything against Alonso@Ferrari because Vettel would destroy him :)
    However Alonso would never allow that, he’ll probably ask Rubens to return to Ferrari

    1. No doubt Vettel is an excellent driver, but he finds it hard even to “destroy” Webber, forget Alonso

      1. well said…

  8. I think the Massa / Alonso combination would be good for Ferrari, if Ferrari could keep them from tearing each others heads off.

    @Skova265 — Not sure I understand your comment about quality during the Schumacher/Brawn/Todt years. Ferrari was Constructors Champion in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and Schumacher won the Driver Championship in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. If that isn’t quality, what is? Or did I misunderstand your comment?

    1. He said that they don’t have the quality anymore that they did with Schumacher etc. So I think you misunderstood – though perhaps it could have been written more clearly!

  9. No the worst kept secret in formula one is that MAX MOSLEY is a DICTATOR lol

    He just doesn’t realise it.

  10. I believe he will eventually go to Ferrari, but im not sure when. Its no secret that Alonso has shown full interest to be in Ferrari. But Ferrari must honor Kimi’s contract, he was after all an F1 champion and is a great driver. Things could be hanging on what Kimi is going to do next. If Kimi decides to leave, Alonso will most likely be there..

    Maksutov, Kimi was given only a 1 year extension on his contract last year(as a sop to be Massa’s rear gunner in Massa’s championship bid), meaning that seat is vacant at the end of 2009. If Alonso wants it, I’m sure Ferrari will show Kimi the door.

    1. And just as I posted that, I realised I was incorrect. Kimi’s contract originally ran through 2009. The exyension takes him through 2010.

      Well, perhaps Ferrari would buyy him out.

      Or perhaps this is why Ferrari has been tossing about the idea of a third car ?

      1. hehe, yeah I thought it goes through to 2010…

        But the third car, im not sure that under the rules they will be allowed to have a 3rd car next year. I think this 3rd car thing was brought about when FOTA were planing to make the breakaway.. and media are still talking about it. But I need to look into that; basically if one team is allowed to have a 3rd car that will undoubtedly increase their chance of wining the constructors title which would not be logical…

        1. Will “the third car” come into the picture while caclculating constructor’s points after each race? I guess not! ;)

  11. Alonso is like Schumacher in wanting a lesser driver in any team he drives. In 2007 he thought Hamilton was going to be a lesser driver, or that he would be able to control him. Maybe he’ll think Massa is a lesser driver too. I’m sure Raikkonen is on his way out of F1, his heart has never really been in it.

    Also on the raikkonen front it was well known long before je joined Ferrari in 2007 that he was going there, but ferrari kept denying it.

  12. So Kimi is retiring? He announced that Ferrari would be his last team in Formula 1! :(
    I hope Massa get’s the sack!!!

  13. I’m really really upset, if Kimi goes i stop watchin F1 (ok maybe not)!!!

    i doubt Massa would want to play second fiddle again, seeming as he has never won a championship, and was second driver for Ferrari during the schumi era. However all of Kimi’s “hobbies” are making me think he might be preparing for a move to WRC or some other rallying chmampionship. Who knows maybe it is really his hobby, or maybe Kimi is preparing to enter WRC with Fiat next year! :(
    I hope Ferrari see the potential in Kimi and give Massa The sack, as Kimi has already announced that Ferrari will be “his last team in formula1”. However Massa hasn’t and could move to Reanult to replace Alonso or even to BMW to replace Heidfield. All i know it’s all just a rumor just yet! and please God let the 11th of sept pass without any announcement about driver changes in Ferrari!

    All of this writing because of a stupid rumor lol!!!

    1. I fully agree with you… Kimi is a talent driver and I do believe he will give great performance soon or later.

      1. kimi is the best there is the best there was and the best f1 driver there ever will be.

    2. i doubt Massa would want to play second fiddle again,

      I dont think Massa was ever a 2nd fiddle. Schumacher always praised him on his driving and they were great mates, in fact Massa thinks highly of Schumacher, but unfortunately Schu was just a bit better. Shu was better, period.

      Kimi is probably a bit better than Massa in my opinion, but he has had lots of bad luck; though in terms technical aspect in knowing how to set his car up maybe he lacks in that area. I must say that based on driving Kimi is one of my favorite drivers, followed by Vettel, Webber and Alonso, and I’ve always liked Heidfeld..; But quality driver is not only judged based on driving but also understanding of the car and consistency. Alonso probably beats them all in that area at the moment… but that’s always hard to judge…

  14. ALONSO – Hmmm…he’s just clearly the best & most reliable driver on the grid today!

    1. I must agree on that, at the moment he certainly is.

  15. James Allen reported last month:

    The word I’m hearing is that these next few races are pretty important for Kimi Raikkonen. Although he has a contract for 2010, the suggestion is that he has certain criteria to meet and that an agreement, which is in place with Alonso for 2011, has a clause which could bring it forward to 2010. The next couple of months will be decisive.

    Thus far in 2009, Kimi has but one podium, a 3rd place at Monaco, with his best finish after that a 6th place at Bahrain and his worst finish 15th at Melbourne. His average finish through 8 races is 8th.

    If indeed there is a minimum performance clause in his 2010 contract, his seat may yet be vacant at the end of 2009.

    2001-2008, his average finish in the Driver Championship was 4.5, winning it in 2007. Currently he stands 10th in drver points. I doubt Ferrari wishes to pay USD51 million for another sub-standard performance in 2010.

    1. dsob, I would say it would all depend on how badly Ferrari want Alonso. Kimi’s performances this season are not all due to him, the car is a dog and must take some of the responsibility. Therefore Ferrari shouldn’t blame Kimi too much.

      Saying that i think Kimi is already thinking of leaving F1 soon anyway be it at the end of this season or next.

      1. dsob, I would say it would all depend on how badly Ferrari want Alonso. Kimi’s performances this season are not all due to him, the car is a dog and must take some of the responsibility. Therefore Ferrari shouldn’t blame Kimi too much.

        Saying that i think Kimi is already thinking of leaving F1 soon anyway be it at the end of this season or next.

        Yes I agree. I dont think Ferrari want Alonso badly, instead I think Alonso wants Ferrari badly. But I have no doubt they would both benefit from each other and they will eventually.

        But regarding Kimi he is an excellent driver and Ferrari know that. But it is hard to judge what is going on this year because Ferrari car just did not perform, so many problems with KERS,.. etc etc…

  16. The rumour is that Fernando would be teamed with Robert Kubica. He said many times that he would like to be teammates with Robert as they are good friends.
    From Ferrari’s view point, having Robert would be a great deal because he speaks Italian and is very popular in Italy as well.

    They’ve made polls among Italian hardcore Ferrari fans, the question being “Whom would you like to drive for Ferrari?”, the biggest demand was for Alonso, and Robert was second.

    Every now and again there is gossip in the Polish press about how Robert has been spotted talking to some Ferrari main guy or he accidently gives hints that make one assume Alonso and/or him have already signed with Ferrari.

    I’d love it to happen.

    1. I think Kubica is yet another driver who would not play second fiddle to Alonso.
      I believe Schumacher decided to retire at the end of 2006 because Kimi had a contract and would not play second fiddle to him. And since when has Schumacher had a team mate that could really challenge him.

    2. The “Kubica-to-Ferrari” campaign strikes me as odd. Alonso and Vettel are exciting prospects I can understand, but Kubica? Not a thrilling idea.

    3. I think that poll was taken before Kubica said that F1 could live without Ferrari, Damon.
      I`m not sure a rerun would now show the same results ;)

    4. I know they are very good friends, but many friendships have died a painful death in the context of team-ates battles. Kubica indeed is a popular face in Italy from his years of living there early in his career, so he’s a natural target for Ferrari in many ways.

  17. Kimi has been playing around in rally cars, including a drive in the Finnish round this year. I wonder…

  18. Kimi might go to the WRC.

    Would love Alonso in a competitive car but Vettel as his team mate…I’d worry. As being huge fans of them both I think Vettel would often beat Fernando and he’d start to get annoyed about it.

    Alonso needs someone completely useless alongside him in the team…. Piquet to Ferrari?

    1. Cm’n, with increasing pressure of reducing budget, Can Ferrari afford re-constructing the car every other round (by risking Piquet in their team)?? :P

  19. I think Alonso will go to Ferrari but the question is when?

    I understand both Massa and Raikkonen have contracts with Ferrari next year, but as we know when has that ever stopped teams changing drivers. I could easily see Raikkonen retiring and going to do rallying or something similar.

  20. The story, as has been said, is that Alonso has signed for Ferrari for 2011, with an option for 2010 depending on how Raikkonen performs. As we don’t know what Kimi’s contract states (though I would guess it relies on him scoring a certain % of the team’s points rather than an absolute figure), we can’t be sure whether Fernando will move in 2010 or 2011.

    I think the hype about Alonso needing a subservient teammate is overstated. The problems at McLaren were largely caused by Alonso believing that Hamilton would be his number two, only to find out that this wasn’t the case. If Alonso signs up for a team knowing that he and his teammate will be on an equal footing, I can’t imagine that there will be a problem.

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