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It's out! Alonso has a Ferrari contract
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It's out! Alonso has a Ferrari contract
Posted By:   |  29 Dec 2008   |  4:50 pm GMT  |  38 comments

Formula 1 is setting itself up for a great on-track rivalry to match the classic Senna-Prost duel of the early 1990s.

My good friend and colleague Pino Allievi is writing in La Gazetta dello Sport in Italy that Fernando Alonso has a four year contract with Ferrari starting 2011, but with clauses which allow that contract to be brought forward one year to 2010. This will bring Alonso into a head-to-head duel with his nemesis, Lewis Hamilton, with blood red Ferraris and Silver Arrows the weapons of choice.

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.

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38 Comments
  1. Matt Boulton says:

    As a Ferrari fan, a Hamilton fan, and more importantly a fan of F1 i can’t wait to see this. Hopefully both drivers will have relatively competitive machinery.

    I would still rather see Lewis in a Ferrari, but I’m fairly resigned to that never happening :(

  2. Caan says:

    I dont think he will last long at Ferrari. Massa in the same car will be too quick for Alonso. Right now Massa is probably the quickest driver in f1 over a single lap. Alonso has great all round driving ability, but is not the quickest over a single lap. The only time Massa has been beaten by his teamate for raw speed was Schumacher. There is no shame in that as he was beaten by the most gifted driver in f1 history, even if he was 37.

    1. mwoerne says:

      Hi, I’m from the future. You’re wrong

  3. Ollie says:

    On the one hand, I see Alonso at Ferrari as a great thing for the sport. Fernando at the control of a real championship winning car with the backing of a championship winning team. And competing against a similarly positioned Hamilton in the McLaren. ‘Electric’ I think would be a good word to describe that. :)

    On the other hand, I feel a little sad. When Alonso won in 2005 and 2006, he did so in a car that wasn’t necessarily the best. He won when perhaps he shouldn’t have done, and that made his titles all the bit more special. Equally as special as his two victories this past season.

    Also, Ferrari have spent many years in the past struggling to keep pace with the top teams (21 years without a drivers title), and recently the Scuderia’s dominance has waned a little. Will Ferrari be able to continue their race-winning pace for the next half-decade? Or are they due for a slump in performance?

    Either way, I’m certain it will create some superb racing, but I’m not about to jump up and down with joy just yet.

  4. Kaz Moon says:

    Alonso in a Ferrari vs Hamilton in a Mclaren should be incredible, though I’ve always been a bit anti Ferrari so I’m afraid Alonso will lose my support for the rest of his career!

    But are you sure it will be Raikkonen who will make way? What if Kimi finds that missing mojo of his next year? There’s no doubt that Massa is clearly a great driver and has improved massively over the past 2 years, but deep down we all know that Raikkonen is simply more talented. It would be a real shame if we missed out on an Alonso vs Raikkonen vs Hamilton title battle in 2010/11 just because Ferrari don’t want to upset Jean Todt and his son.

  5. Michael Balthazar says:

    Well if this is legitimate my first reaction is to be kind of sad. I am an avid Kimi Raikkonen fan, but I could even see that his motivation waned once it became clear he would not be able to challenge for the championship and that his efforts would be compromised for Felipe Massa. In that sense I feel that Massa was the better teammate in the scheme of things, supporting Kimi, but that could be due to the mathematics nullifying Massa’s chances earlier than they did Kimi’s.

    In any case, I HOPE that this provides from kick for Kimi to come out strong in 2009. Unfortunately, seeing the amount of technical change that is happening and Kimi weakness in development will definitely hurt, even with the extra testing time that he will receive.

    In response to Felipe being quicker over a single lap than anyone, that may be true. On the other hand, Fernando Alonso has pulled out dynamite laps before, but I do not think that is his strength. Some may think that Alonso is arrogant, but the more I have watched him, I think it is due to his approach. He is a winner and a shark. His plain, killer instinct to drive faster than anyone else in the field is something I don’t see in anyone else except in Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica. McLaren and Renault both understand that Alonso is great at developing the car, something I think that most overlook in their analysis of Alonso. He also has a knack for extracting the maximum performance from an under-performing car if a win is within reach, blood in the water lets say. This development ability, to drive the car to consistently improve in the right direction while driving around the initial problems is something I think that both Massa and Raikkonen lack and is what gives Alonso the potential to be devastating at Ferrari. If he is able to pull the team around him in the same way he did with Renault in his first two WDC’s, than it will be a potent combination, though not in the same way that Michael’s Ferrari was.

    What will be interesting is how Hamilton continues to get on at McLaren. Being ensconced there will make other drivers wary of spending too much time at McLaren as the ever-present worry will be that Golden Boy is being favored. I feel if Hamilton wants to have a chance to compete with Alonso if he gets in a Ferrari, he will have to push his technical skills as much as possible. With the end of cost cutting beyond sight, investing dollars in solid avenues of improvement while disregarding those with little gain will be crucial more so now than ever in the modern era of F1. I feel that Lewis still needs to mature on this end and it will be a crucial task to maintain his dominance with McLaren.

    Still, 2010-2011 is a far way off. If Kimi finds his form over the winter it will be interesting, but now that news of this deal is public…

    Lets put it his way, I wonder if Kimi is still having fun in Formula1.

    I’ll take a breath now.

  6. Michael says:

    Hopefully the gods of F1 can save us from this and put a spanner in the works. The thought of such a spoiled brat in a Ferrari boggles! No doubt it will end in tears when he’s spanked on track and can’t get his way off it. Another one year contract, just like at McLaren I shouldn’t wonder.

    Why Ferrari would want to move for Alonso is puzzling me. Why not a man of the future who has already shown how great a team player he is. Why not Vettel?

    Formula 1 is getting ever stranger.

  7. Jack says:

    Even if Alonso were to move to Ferrari relatively soon, will the team still be in the same position it is now?
    During recent testing they haven’t used their new aero package and not even touched KERs, not the actions of a team on-top of the new regulations, in my book.

  8. Paul Walsh says:

    Unfortunatly for all the other drivers, Lewis has the X Factor, so Alonso could drive round in a rocket and would still not be able to beat him.

    Lets not forget that Alonso still could not beat Lewis when they were in the same car, and Alonso was the one who had the extra knowledge of the spygate affair. ( Lewis new nothing )

    I can see the red toys being thrown out of the pram at some stage!!!

    Bring it on.

  9. Ace Best says:

    I totally spilled my coffee when I read the title of this article.

    Wow,this is big.I prefer Alonso to stay on Renault,but still,this movement may take the wdc duel one step higher.

    I think next year’s issues will revolve around who would get his arse kicked from ferarri.Raikkonnen or Massa.Both of them have experienced the high and the low on the team.

  10. James says:

    Would this story be connected to Briatore stepping down in two years time or just a coincidence?

    Is Briatore leaving because of this contract or Alonso taking up this contract because of Briatore leaving…?

  11. Caan says:

    Alonso is overated. Massa will be to quick for him if they were teamates. People said the same things when Kimi joined Ferrari, but Massa has been too quick. The only driver to ever beet him for raw pace was the greatest of all time Schumacher.

  12. Duncan says:

    I don’t see how Montezemolo would feel he got the wrong man in 2006 when Kimi won the title in his first year???

    It’s also worth noting he was leading the championship earlier on in the season up until changes were made to the F2008.

    He came back strongly towards the end of the season, so much so that he was much quicker than Massa at China and embarrassingly had to almost come to a halt to let him by for second place.

    As you mentioned before Brazil James, last season could have been Massa’s best chance for the title because if Kimi drives like we know he can in 2009 then surely it will be Massa making way for Alonso.

  13. rpaco says:

    I am sure that when the time comes and the Italians have got their electronics working for long enough to control KERS for an entire race, (as a previous Italian car owner I can say this is doubtful, but with sufficient British engineers on the team just possible, although an uphill struggle) then Alonso, Ferrari, the FIA and certain stewards, will together, be able to beat Lewis and uncle Ron……occasionally.

  14. benalf says:

    paul walsh, I don’t think Hamilton beat Alonso, how sure you’re about the problems Alonso had at Macca and how comparable the cars were, especially in the last third of 2007 season?
    time will tell how good Hamilton is but at this moment in time, he’s not a more complete driver than Alonso. IT’s easy to defend your favorite drivers and filter things out to justify your preferences. Personally, I think there’s plenty of time to see both drivers racing in competitive cars in different teams; I am pretty sure Alonso will succeed over Hamilton in most of the races, even Vettel and Kubica with good cars will do it fair and square. Hamilton is a gifted driver, no doubt about it, but put it into some perspective and you’ll see he’s as talented as several other chaps on the grid.

  15. Chaz says:

    Great news…

  16. Jenny Mac says:

    I can’t decide whether Alonso to Ferrari is good or bad. In essence it should be good, but, a part of me thinks ‘is this really the best move’? There’s a lot of question marks hanging over this one so I think I’ll sit on the fence for now :)

  17. Kahn says:

    Your statements make no sense at all, Caan: Massa will beAt Alonso (so overRated “spoiled brat”), ’cause only “the greatest of all time Schumacher” was able to beat Massa. The same “gratest of all time Schumacher” that was beaten by Alonso? With a much worse car? Twice?

    C’mon guys, don’t make me laugh.

  18. Jay Menon says:

    You know what’s suprising? Its not that Alonso is to join Ferrari but that people are still doubting his capability. Overated? Come on! What does Alonso need to prove? He’s double World Champion for God’s sake! and he won it from the legendary Michael Schumacher, isn’t that good enough? Lets just put things into perspective, he isn’t good enough because he’s not British, thats it. We all know the British media and how they build personalities up beyond their true capability and this is excatly what they’re doing with Lewis. This was the exact same scenario with David Beckham.

    Like behalf said, Lewis is a gifted driver, nobody is doubting that, but so are many other guys on the grid. If you’d put Vettel or Kubica in a McLaren, chances are they’d be challenging for the WDC. In order to be a legendary champion, a driver requires more than speed. The greats of the past like Senna and Schumacher were not only fast, but they were consistent, capable of technically improving the car, maximizing performance so on and so forth. These traits are shared by Alonso as well.

    And some go on to say that Alonso couldn’t beat Lewis in the same car, I dont undertand this. Based on results, there wasn’t much difference between the two. Both won 4 races and ended up with 8 podiums. In fact Alonso had 3 fastest laps to Lewis’ 2. Lewis did pip Alonso in poles with 6 to 2, but that just means that he was faster on a single lap, there are plenty of factors that could have contributed to the difference in single lap pace of the two. We all know of Ron Dennis’ preference to his Blue Eyed Boys, the likes of David Coulthard and Montoya, even Kimi came out and supported Alonso. There’s more to it here, more than meets the eye.

    Lewis Hamilton has become the greatest Formula One driver ever after winning one WDC with the best car on the grid in the eyes of the British, while a man who won two WDCs in car that was possibly not the best while racing against a legend is still doubted…..

    such is life

  19. Alvin K says:

    Alonso to ferrari is something I dread as he will be able to challenge Lewis but then again, it might be good to watch as Massa will definitely pick fights with Alonso and vice versa. Woohoo, can’t wait to see the 2 screwing up FIArrari.

  20. Paul Walsh says:

    benalf

    Sorry mate, but they both drove the same car in 2007 even in the last third of the season, not forgetting that Alonso has far more experiance than Lewis as well. He also had extra information from the spygate affair.

    Ive watched F1 for some 35yrs now, and I do believe that we are seeing the talents of one of the greatest drivers ever. Time will tell.

    Paul.

  21. James says:

    Extra information from the spygate affair, yes. But therewas actually no evidence that the information was used on the car to improve it during the races.

  22. sErA says:

    Hi, i`m an spanish Alonso supporter and i want to say that 2 years it`s to long in f1 and Alonso still have to do a great effort to be in a ferrari in two years, first he had to start again, after being two times champ he had the chance to be in a macca (one of the two best teams) and we all see what happen (who was true it`s on your own “it have to be equal status” or “i`m two time champ and i deserve it”), last year he starts from zero again(he could decide to stay one more year in macca with nº2 status) must of us we`ll be devastated after this happen, but he did a great job last year and every one have an eye on him know,time will say but his perseverance and skill still there.

    Sorry if any mistake.

  23. JohnBt says:

    We all will have preferences for our favourite drivers. Personally, Hamilton has been over-rated with too much publicity as the British were hungry for a new persona in the sporting arena. Can you imagine, in the Singapore GP there were teenage girls asking me if Hamilton is winning the race as I had the Kangaroo TV. You should have seen their faces when I told them Hamilton is not winning. I don’t think they knew who Alonso, Kubica, Vettel and the rest were. Media is power. Please me reminded that Alonso won in 2005 & 2006 with an under-rated car and against Shumi. How McLaren treated him will be anybody’s guess, unless somehow somewhere an ex-McLaren personel decides to spill the beans. As we all are aware that F1 has never been totally transparent through the years. Suddenly strange news will be published about the past, shocking us. But I’m with Alonso as watching him race with the big picture is pure pleasure, not just about a single fast lap. The overall package as many have said favours Alonso as the most complete F1 driver. The R29 will surely improve for 2009, and it could be a repeat performance from ’05 and ’06. Can’t wait for the first race to commence!

  24. Caan says:

    Both of Alonso’s titles came in the best cars. The Mclaren in 2005 was faster but had awful reliability. His competion in 2006 was the Ferrari of Schumacher. The Ferrari was very unreliable and was on the weaker Bridgstone tyres giving Alanso a significant advantage. Remember Massa was nowhere in that Ferrari. It was only the pure genious and raw speed of a past his prime Schumacher that pushed the title all the way.

    I think Alonso in the same car as quick teamate such as Massa will struggle.

  25. f1bits says:

    I think this is just pure speculation. There is no proof of this. Only time will tell if Alonso does got to Ferrari in a couple of years

  26. Jasper says:

    The main problem at McLaren for Alonso was that over time the car was being developed to suit Hamilton more than Alonso. As early as Bahrain in ’07, Alonso was forced to run with a brake set-up that Hamilton preferred.

    Alonso at Ferrari in 2011, maybe?

    But in the mean time I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do with what Renault give him in 2009. I understand that the ’09 regulation cars will have a tendancy towards understeer, which suits Alonso’s driving still, so I can see him being in the Championship fight!

  27. icaro says:

    We all are waiting to demostrate who is the best driver. I prefer Alonso to others and time will give me reasons. Ron was so clever to have in McLaren, to make a good car and have not competitors for his child at the same time.
    Is in the field where people have to speak.

  28. Rich says:

    So, where’s the proof? (Show me the contract!)
    I’ve seen no confirmation of this, or even anything *close to confirmation.
    I think its all wishful thinking.

  29. Rich says:

    And, btw, I think you can discount Santander’s influence in all this just a bit.
    On top of the current global banking crises they appear to have lost over $3 billion overnight in the Madoff ponzi scheme.
    I would not be surprised to see them pull back from their sponsorships just a bit on that account.

  30. Rob H says:

    Duncan, I really think your arguments regarding the Massa/Raikkonen situation are blinkered. If anything Kimi was only repaying the favour from last year when Massa led the championship early on but the car tended to suit Kimi more as it developed, so Massa did the sensible thing and backed his team-mate up, letting him through in Brazil to help his title aspirations. Raikkonen basically did the same in China this year, even if he may have been further up the road than Massa was at Interlagos in ’07.

    Over the two years that Massa and Raikkonen have been together at Ferrari Massa has the lead in almost every category going except fastest laps…….Raikkonen may have won the title but there is no certainty he is the better driver, in all probability Ferrari will keep Massa unless Raikkonen has a truly special season next year, assuming Alonso IS Ferrari-bound (which I’m still not convinced of). Why? Massa is more of a team player, is better-liked by the team and is on a salary approximately one quarter of Raikkonen’s. It’s the same reasons Toyota got rid of Ralf Schumacher even though he actually scored more points than Trulli at Toyota.

  31. bernard says:

    hammy is overrated no doubt about that. He has not that typical sprankle Senna and Shumacher have. Young Vettel would surely beat him in the same car. Put Button in the Mc Laren of 2008 and Hammy will be beaten, For the moment Mc Laren is not in top shape and he talks already of another team, the guy is just to spoiled and not mature.

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