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. rampante said on 1st July 2009, 14:04

    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.

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

      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.

  2. antonyob said on 1st July 2009, 14:06

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

    • Algo said on 1st July 2009, 15:13

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

  3. donwatters said on 1st July 2009, 14:10

    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.

    • Nick said on 1st July 2009, 19:24

      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.

      • Zo said on 3rd July 2009, 3:50

        [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?

  4. rampante said on 1st July 2009, 15:18

    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

  5. antonyob said on 1st July 2009, 15:30

    oops did he. apologies, i had no idea.

  6. Alastair said on 1st July 2009, 17:10

    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.

  7. Jose Arellano said on 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!

  8. Nick said on 1st July 2009, 18:47

    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.

    • persempre said on 1st July 2009, 20:03

      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.

    • Zo said on 3rd July 2009, 4:41

      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.

  9. Boston F1 Fan said on 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.

    • Phillip said on 1st July 2009, 22:17

      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)

  10. Antiriad said on 1st July 2009, 21:23

    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.

    • Gman said on 2nd July 2009, 6:12

      Very well-said overall.

      • Bas said on 2nd July 2009, 15:36

        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.

        • Dog of Norway said on 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.

  11. RAHIM said on 1st July 2009, 23:10

    Kimi will fight back when it comes to his race seat…….we know that he wants to leave f1 maybe…..but if he will leave he would only leave after 2010 so…..if his race seat is under threat by alonso……he’s gonna show his real Iceman drive……..C’mon Kimi Raikkonen…….win a title before you leave….maybe 2010

  12. The Sri Lankan said on 2nd July 2009, 0:21

    I seriously think Toyota will have a go at recruiting Alonso if things keep going this way. Jarnos contract is about to expire and Ferraris getting wiped by Toyota. so why not? Renault should just bail out of f1 or stay as an engine supplier(which is what they are good at)

  13. wasiF1 said on 2nd July 2009, 1:51

    I believe KIMI & MASSA have contract until 2010.
    If so then I think it may be Vettel to move to Ferrari in 2011.

  14. Gman said on 2nd July 2009, 6:15

    I am a bit suprised by all the people who believe Kimi is still at top form and has a secure place at Ferrari. Sure he’s a great guy with loads of talent, but Massa has had the upper hand over him since Monaco last season, and except for some flashes, Kimi’s been way under-performing. If Ferrari were to dump anyone to bring in Alonso (which they very much would) it would surely be Kimi and not Massa.

    • donwatters said on 2nd July 2009, 9:49

      Exactly on target, Gman.

    • scunnyman said on 2nd July 2009, 10:45

      The trouble is Gman, and i am not defending Kimi, but he is still seen as a STAR. And the underperforming clause in the contract is still a rumour i believe.
      I would rather believe that Kimi will leave F1 because he is bored than be pushed. And if he stated he wanted to stay then i’m sure Ferrari may be inclined to push Massa to another team. Kimi may have more power within the Ferrari team because of his status.

    • Nick said on 2nd July 2009, 15:30

      gman, you have to look at race pace. Massa has nothing, he can’t pass. Sure, he can bang out a couple laps when Rob Smedley is telling him how to drive…but thats it.

      Kimi is the only one to have put in consistent race pace and passing. Massa has lucked out with more points by fuel strategy.

  15. Alonso Ferrari said on 2nd July 2009, 11:11

    it’s going to happen 101% question is when

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