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. NO NO NO ! ! ! ! !

    Fernando to Ferrari is not going to happen. Ever ! ! I was one of the 18% during the previous poll who said NO, and I reiterate my stand.

    Do you guys really think that Fernando has driven exceptionally well so far in 2009?? He got beaten by Piquet in the last race. His 2 wins in 2008 came at the death when all the teams had already shifted focus to 2009.

    Fernando is no longer the driver he was in 2006 when he beat Schumacher at his prime. And Ferrari has too much choice at their disposal: Kimi, Massa, Vettel, Kubika, Button all proven material.

    And even if such a nightmarish event were to occur, who would be Alonso’s partner? Ferrari would have to bring Barrichello or Piquet or Rosberg. Luca is wiser.

    1. Erm just because you don’t want it to happen doesn’t mean it isn’t going to! Or do you personally write the Ferrari contracts?! ;o)

    2. Piquet fluked it, which is easily possible when the Renault is that bad. I believe poor Nelson has now been outqualified 26 times to 0.

      I do agree he hasn’t been impressive this year, but neither has Lewis, either Ferrari driver, either BMW driver – and we know that some of them have talent.

      1. just my words, mate!

    3. Actually the Renault that Alonso drove to his 2 world titles was an exceptional car and both Mclaren and Ferrari has severly underestimated it. Both times the Renault was equal in habdling and power and Alonso drove the cars well.
      I dont know if Alonso is the driver he once was but I dont believe he wants a driver of equal ability on the team as it could bring out some his defficiencies. Hamilton proved that he was the equal to Alonso and that didnt sit well.
      These guys are type A and want to be the dominant driver at what ever team their at. Very few teams have been able tto have 2 top tier drivers and be successful with them and then it usually only last a year or so before 1 of the ego’s gets hurt and they move on.
      Alonso to Ferrari…I hope not but I think it will happen. If it does he will almost certainly ask for a lesser second.

      1. Question: Has a championship ever been won by a car that was not the best of the field? Maybe that could be an article one day Keith ;)

    4. HounslowBusGarage
      1st July 2009, 16:39

      His 2 wins in 2008 came at the death when all the teams had already shifted focus to 2009

      Hmmm. I thought the season wasn’t decided until the last race of 2008 . . .

      1. Good call. Alonso drove the wheels of that Renault for his wins in 2008-he has a talent for making slow cars go fast, both in terms of driving and developing them. He very well could play an important role in the development a competitive Ferrari next year.

        1. Except there`s so little testing now & the test/third drivers also need to know how to handle the car should they be needed to race

        2. His win at Singapore was just lucky. Thanks to the stupid safety car rule.

          1. And what about after the safety car, a few laps later he was 6 seconds ahead of Rosberg and Hamilton

  2. I’d actually like to see Massa replace Rubens at BrawnGP. Something tells me he’d fit in well there and that him and Jenson would work well together…

    Just a hunch…

  3. Some facts:
    1. Both Raikkonen and Massa have contracts ending at the end of the 2010 season.
    2. Raikkonen has stated that Ferrari will be his last team in F1.
    3. Massa can’t drive without Rob Smedley telling him when to brake (ok, just kidding with this one)
    4. James Allen has reported that Alonso has a 2011 contract with Ferrari with an optional for 2010 if Raikkonen underperforms. He did not give a source for this.
    5. Santander have indeed confirmed a move to Ferrari sponsorship after 2009.

    I don’t have any hunches.

    1. 3. Massa can’t drive without Rob Smedley telling him when to brake (ok, just kidding with this one)

      I’d be inclined to believe that one.

    2. 3. Massa can’t drive without Rob Smedley telling him when to brake


  4. I don’t think that’s F1’s worst kept secret. That was Michael Schumacher’s retirement…

  5. I think when you support a team you get different perspectives. When new team drivers are talked of, or announced, you either think great, OK, or OMG you have to be kidding.
    Sometimes you`re proved right & sometimes you have a change of mind when you see how they work within the team or watch them in real life & find out that the media have been doing a hatchet job on them.

    Alonso has, without doubt, been a great driver. He is still amongst the best out there but would he be right for Ferrari?
    Personally, I don`t think so but I just support the drivers not chose them.
    Across the years he (& his fans) have become so desperate to get the seat that I wouldn`t be suprised if he`d drive without pay.

    One problem is that someone has to take the other team seat. I`m not sure that any driver who has proved himself would be happy at that prospect. Ferrari wants 2 good drivers.

    Alonso`s ability to bring cars on has been talked of & is, no question, very good. But Ferrari has good test drivers & the reduction in testing means that the opportunity for a driver to develop a car in the way he could a couple of years ago is also greatly reduced. So I see no real bonus there.

    The other problem is that Alonso has a tendency to mouth off & complain about lack of support etc. from his team & teammate every time something doesn`t go exactly as he seems to want. I`m not talking the Hamilton saga. IMO Lewis was equally, if not more, to blame on that & McLaren definitely didn`t handle any of it well. Alonso has bad-mouthed every team & practically every teammate he`s ever had.

    Some tifosi & Italian media want him, some don`t. Of those that do, some do so out of a kind of desperation but, if he were to get the seat & not live up to their expectations or start washing his dirty laundry in public again, they will turn on him with a vengeance.

    From a purely personal point of view I would rather see someone on the way up get the seat not someone on the cusp of coming down.

    1. He wants a good car though, and there are only two teams who have the experience and knowledge to generally turn out good cars year after year, and it didn’t work out too well for him at one of them.

      1. Every driver wants a good car, Kovy.

        Renault were Constructors Champions in 2005 & 6. The last time McLaren won was in 1998.
        Alonso left a winning team to go to McLaren which, at the time, was said to be for more money.
        Maybe Alonso would get more respect by working with Renault to bring their car back to Championship level as Schumacher did at Ferrari.

        1. I really agree with you!
          That is my dream and greatest expectation for the team.
          My team was, is and always will be RENAULT!
          And since Fernando was, is and always will be my best F1 driver, this is whan I really belive: he should fight for his team and himself!!!

    2. The other problem is that Alonso has a tendency to mouth off & complain about lack of support etc. from his team & teammate every time something doesn`t go exactly as he seems to want. I`m not talking the Hamilton saga. IMO Lewis was equally, if not more, to blame on that & McLaren definitely didn`t handle any of it well. Alonso has bad-mouthed every team & practically every teammate he`s ever had.

      I agree 100% on that. This is one negative side I dont like about Alonso. For as long as he wins he will thank the team, if not he will mouth off against them. But I think Ferrari can see that Alonso is the most consistent driver out there at the moment and Ferrari want to win of course, so they are willing to give it a chance.. I dunno. I would love to see Vettel in Ferrari!! more so than Alonso.

      1. I agree with you 100% on that.
        Also each year there are new drivers coming to the grid. Maybe 2010 will see another great youngster?

  6. best drivers need to be in the best cars generally. one of the more ludicrous sights of this year ( though entertaining) has been to watch proper racers and wdc’s like Lewis, Alonso and to a lesser extent Kimi throwing the car around to try and “grab” 12th place from some journeyman.

    Vettel could be great but seems to crack a bit under expectation (he is v young though) and Button is a bit of a flat track bully as found out in the last race where Rubens handled the cold tyre sliding much better than Jenson.

    All in all Alonso must goto Ferrari and Mclaren must sort their car out to give the results more credibility next year.

  7. Piquet to follow Alonson to Ferrari next year maybe?

    1. That would probably be the most undeserved promotion in F1 history.

      I don’t believe that at all.

      1. Yes, but that was said of Massa when he went to Ferrari also.
        He was withing 1 point of a WDC last year.
        He has performed well since he sat in the RED car and wasnt bad in the Suaber.

        1. At least Massa showed some potential in the Sauber. I really can’t find anything promising in Piquet’s performance. I was really rooting for him to do well, but IMHO he has been a huge disappointment.

    2. Please, you must be kidding…?

  8. Not a Ferrari fan but you have to admit Alonso would be the perfect fit for the Scuderia. The only problem, who will remain at Ferrari and will Alonso be able to put his ego aside and work with his teammate?

    1. The only problem, who will remain at Ferrari and will Alonso be able to put his ego aside and work with his teammate?

      yeah good point, I doubt he will be able to.

  9. well hes got a number 2 at ferrari in massa, hes perfect, nice guy, quite quick but not quite got it.

    1. Or you could have the scenario where Alonso comes into a team where his teammate is well-known & well-liked, used to how the team works & has a crew who will move heaven & earth to help him so Alonso feels he`s getting sidelined.
      That rings a bell somehow ;)

      Massa is no longer a No 2. He was within a whisper of last years` title while Kimi was behind him. The roles were reversed from 2007 when Kimi won by one point.
      In terms of ability there`s practically nothing between Felipe & Kimi.

    1. Whenever there is a three-week gap between races, Miquel will do the same.
      Sorry, I misplaced the link in the previous post.

  10. What have you all got against Alonso? Is it because he refused to lie for a Brittish team or because he was pi**ed the same team tried to favour a rookie? He is a 2 times champion and the pairing of him and Ferrari will pretty much be unstoppable. Ferrari will be back next season as will Mclaren and BMW because they are no grey areas in the rules. As good as it is to see Red Bull and Brawn this year they will not last and will be overtaken, this has been the history of F1 and I don’t see that changing. In Italy we have wanted him and Kubica due to the fact he has raced many years in Italy with an Italian manager.

    1. I don`t dislike him, rampante, I just don`t think he`d be right.
      If he ever gets the seat maybe I`ll be proved wrong. What concerns me is that I may be proved right.
      I also think Ferrari should look forward & chose drivers who will win & not back to drivers who were winning 4-5 years ago.
      He doesn`t seem to have been able to bring the Renault on this year any more than the Ferrari drivers have.
      As ever, I`m open to hearing why people have different views, though.

  11. well you have to pick someone. Alboretto’s retired hasnt he?

    1. Alboreto died in 2001 test driving the LM Audi. Im quite sure yours was not an ill joke..

  12. Of course Fernando is going to Ferrari. Kimi’s not getting it done, and his rather ho-hum attitude does not sit well with the pasionate demeanor of the team. Massa continues to do well under the circumstances, so I believe he’ll stay. Vettel would be a great choice, I’m just not convinced the vibe at Ferrari is right for him. Kubica? I just don’t see it. Rubens? Been there, done that. Button? Why? Brawn seems to be an ideal situation for him.

    1. huh? Massa hasn’t done anything more than Kimi. oh wait, Kimi is expected to win everything race while if Massa just finishes ahead of Kimi he had an amazing race. Massa is garbage.

      1. [i]”Massa is garbage.”?[/i]

        Over the 2+ seasons Kimi and Massa have been paired in Ferrari, Massa has scored more poles, mores wins, and more points than Kimi. So if “Massa is garbage”, what is Kimi?

  13. met alboreto at monaco and he was a really nice guy. that was the good days when after quali the drivers sat down ate and had a drink! He is sadly missed

  14. oops did he. apologies, i had no idea.

  15. Remember Massa and Alonso’s spat ust before going onto the podium in 2007? I somehow don’t think Massa, who is trying to make out that he is #1 at Ferrari, is going to be too happy with Alonso joining the team and Alonso’s not going to want to have Kimi as a team mate, so chances are that Alonso’s going to have to find somewhere else to drive (maybe Mark Webber’s seat) until Kimi decides to leave.

  16. Jose Arellano
    1st July 2009, 17:58

    am i the only one who would like to se kimi & alonso battling each other at ferrari… that would be awesome!

  17. kimi has outperformed massa all this year. Massa had the optimum strategy last race…Why they gave kimi so much less fuel is beyond me.

    1. No.6 Massa 16 points
      No.10 Kimi 10 points

      Kimi will have outp[erformed Massa whe he gets more points, Nick. Facts are facts,
      They`re both Ferrari drivers so I support them both.

      1. sorry, no. Kimi has outqaulified him so far…as well, Kimi has had failures.

    2. Kimi made it to Q3 and was probably expecting to qualify better than 9th with his chosen fuel load. Massa didn’t make Q3 so he ran a very heavy fuel load which he clearly got the most out of—finishing 4th to Kimi’s 8th.

  18. Boston F1 Fan
    1st July 2009, 19:23

    – I hope (a) that this happens soon and (b) that Mclaren get back on form. If both of those take place then we will see a titanic battle between Hamilton and Alonso, perhaps similar to the Prost-Senna battles of old. Wooo.

    1. Alonso at Ferrari and Hamilton at Mclaren, both cars on form – I think that might eclipse the Prost-Senna battles!!!

      Really hoping to see Alonso at Ferrari next year (Wish we had him at Brawn this year)

  19. We have to remember that Kimi was brought in my Jean Todt who always favoured Finnish drivers since his days in rallying before Ferrari head hunted him from Peugeot in 1993. Just remember how he picked fellow Finn Mika Salo to sub for Michael in 1999 and was seen smooth talking Hakkinen on the podium one time.

    However with the Italian revolution/restoration at Ferrari in recent years, Todt along with his other foreign counterparts (Brawn/Byrne/Stepney) are no longer running the show.

    Luca di Montezemolo (who seemingly initiated this purge bringing the Scuderia back to how it was in the early 90s) seems keen to put his own stamp on the team and has long made compliments about Alonso’s obvious talents.

    With Todt’s patronage gone, Kimi’s is on his way out. Because like his idol James Hunt, he’s talented but lazy.

    He is simply too inconsistant, unlike Schumacher before him and Alonso lacks a decent work ethic meaning you don’t get good value for money.

    I would suspect that all this talk of a contract with the Finn in 2010 is not as concrete as people might think – more likely Ferrari have merely an option on the driver for next year which is no doubt performance related in light of his lacklustre defence of his title last year.

    Ferrari would be better off keeping the lesser talented but more commited and now more consistant Massa who makes a good No2 like his fellow countryman Barrichello did.

    Even then the Brazilian is managed by Jean Todt’s son Nicholas so I wouldn’t expect him to last beyond next year either.

    1. Very well-said overall.

      1. hmhm…. Ferrari put out an official statement they extended Kimi’s deal by one year, and said stuff like they were happy to have him on board for 2010. Usually, they don’t gpo around saying that when its only an option (whose option? kimi’s or Ferrari’s or both?).

        funny Todt-finland conspiracy you have there… If anything, Todt had connections in Finland, bur he didnt favour them. he picked schumi for the lead drive, and irvine, barrichello and Massa as sidekicks, when he couldve taken hakkinen or Salo. And he picked Salo as a backup pfor Salo was the most experienced guy standing on the sideline with a superlicence. The alternative was normally Badoer, but that happened to be the very year badoer was running in a Minardi. And at the end of the season he dumped salo for Barrichello.

        Its also funny how you mention di Montezemolo getting ferrari back to the early 90-ies. And not just because that is the target budget level for 2011.
        Ferrari in the early 90-ies was pretty much in disarray: its founder and undisputed leader was dead and every decision at the team was made considering “what would Enzo have decided?” which gave the management a rather weak position. Who was exactly in charge was not very clear at times and management positions switched a couple of times over a short period, with responsibilities redistributed time and again. Effectively, the team became run by Ferrari’s general director, Luca di Montezemolo (!), rather than the race team folks. Lots of money were poured into the team, but after another good year, successes failed to materialize. The team went without a win for years, Prost campared its handling with a truck and it was pretty much safe bet the 4th strongest team on the grid.

        How does that compapre to today’s (di Montezemolo’s, or rather Domenicali’s) Ferrari?
        Well, following Todt’s departure in 2007, Ferrari had another good year in 2008, closely missing the title (as had prost in 1990). But in 2009 its gone wrong: even though the team has a huge budget and top notch facilities and drivers, its performance has slipped remarkably from the year before. People started pointing fingers for who was to blame and soon the team started to reshuffle its leading people with some looking after the factory more, and others looking more after the race team, and no-one felt that Domenicali’s position as a team chief was much stronger because of it. Effectively, its Ferrari general Director di Montezemolo who is calling the shots. Fans are asking what has happened to the Schmuacher-era all-imposing scuderia. They havent won a race yet halfway through the season (british GP), for the first time since 1994. And the team is current ranking in the constructors championship is…4th.

        Hmm, I know half a year like this isn’t nearly like the 90-95 spell ferrari suffered, but indeed it seems as if di Montezemolo is trying to get the team back to where it was in the early ’90s.

        1. Dog of Norway
          3rd July 2009, 8:13

          Without sounding disrepectful to Ferrari, I’m starting to pay a lot more attention to Niki Lauda’s “spaghetti culture” comment earlier in the year.

          He would know, he was there.

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