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

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)

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

  1. Damon said on 1st July 2009, 9:52

    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.

    • scunnyman said on 1st July 2009, 11:09

      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.

    • Crom said on 1st July 2009, 11:37

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

    • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 14:38

      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 ;)

    • Gman said on 2nd July 2009, 6:07

      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.

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

  3. TommyB said on 1st July 2009, 10:20

    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?

  4. PJA said on 1st July 2009, 10:28

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    • Charlie said on 1st July 2009, 11:17

      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)

    • Kovy said on 1st July 2009, 11:45

      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.

    • Martin said on 1st July 2009, 13:29

      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.

      • Kovy said on 1st July 2009, 14:12

        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 ;)

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 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 . . .

      • J-Canada said on 1st July 2009, 19:53

        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.

        • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 21:17

          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

        • Dude said on 2nd July 2009, 15:20

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

          • Alex said on 27th July 2009, 15:49

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

  7. Adrian said on 1st July 2009, 10:57

    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…

  8. Hakka said on 1st July 2009, 11:37

    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.

    • ajokay said on 1st July 2009, 14:55

      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.

    • Maksutov said on 1st July 2009, 15:28

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

      Hahahaha….

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

  10. persempre said on 1st July 2009, 11:55

    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.

    • Kovy said on 1st July 2009, 14:11

      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.

      • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 14:46

        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.

        • Christina said on 3rd August 2009, 7:16

          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!!!

    • Maksutov said on 1st July 2009, 15:34

      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.

      • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 15:52

        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?

  11. antonyob said on 1st July 2009, 12:30

    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.

  12. Steve said on 1st July 2009, 12:51

    Piquet to follow Alonson to Ferrari next year maybe?

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

      I don’t believe that at all.

      • Martin said on 1st July 2009, 13:35

        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.

        • 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.

    • Gman said on 2nd July 2009, 6:10

      Please, you must be kidding…?

  13. Eric said on 1st July 2009, 12:55

    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?

    • Maksutov said on 1st July 2009, 15:37

      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.

  14. antonyob said on 1st July 2009, 13:34

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

    • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 14:00

      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.

    • qazuhb said on 1st July 2009, 14:14

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

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