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Alonso speaks about his Ferrari move
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Alonso speaks about his Ferrari move
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Sep 2009   |  5:41 pm GMT  |  59 comments

Fernando Alonso has spoken on the Ferrari website about his move to the Scuderia, while Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali has spoken of the reasons why they dropped Kimi Raikkonen and hired Alonso.

Alonso falls for the lure of the Prancing Horse (Photo; Darren Heath)

Alonso falls for the lure of the Prancing Horse (Photo; Darren Heath)


The Spaniard was not quoted in the Ferrari press release which was careful to dispense with Kimi Raikkonen’s services in a respectful way.

“I’m very happy and very proud to become a Ferrari driver,” Alonso said.

“Driving a single-seater from the Prancing Horse is everybody’s dream in this sport and today I have the opportunity to make this dream come true. Above all I want to thank Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who really wanted this three-year contract.

“I’m sure that, together with Felipe, we’ll offer Ferrari and the fans from all over the world some great satisfaction. I can’t wait to start working with my new team.

“We already had an agreement this summer starting in 2011, but then, the last days, the picture changed and we decided to anticipate my arrival in Maranello by one year.”

Alonso is bidding to become the second Spanish-speaking driver to achieve greatness with Ferrari, the other being Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1950s. Fellow Argentine Carlos Reutemann won races for Ferrari, but the serial champions in the team have been German speakers; Niki Lauda and Michael Schumacher.

This move will do a great deal for Formula 1 in the Spanish speaking world.

Domenicali said that the team has one objective in mind; to get back to the very top of F1 after a disappointing 2009 season. They had an agreement in place for 2011 with an option for 2010 and saw an opportunity to install Alonso at the earlier date and took it,

“With Fernando we started talking about.. 2011, but then there were the conditions to anticipate the start of our relationship already as of the upcoming championship. We preferred to take the opportunity.

“We’re happy that we made this agreement with Fernando, who is not only a driver of great talent, but also victorious, as he has shown many times throughout his career, also under difficult conditions. His contribution will be very important to bring Ferrari back to the level where it has to be, to fight at the top.”

SkyBet has installed Alonso as 7/2 favourite to win the 2010 world championship!

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59 Comments
  1. Slightly deflated hearing this as we have all been commenting on this move for a while now.

    Any other gossip we can all speculate on please James???

  2. Werewolf says:

    Sorry, my anorak’s come out again, just to comment on the nationality/language observations.

    Ferrari’s first world championship win was also delivered by a Spanish speaker, Froilan Gonzalez from Argentina. I don’t think it could be said that Fangio achieved his greatness at Ferrari: there were already 3 titles in the bag with Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Mercedes; in fact 1956 was probably his least convincing title and, just to be really pedantic, the car started out as a Lancia! Ferrari’s first serial champion was Italian, Alberto Ascari.

    There have been some significant Brits too: Collins, Hawthorn, Surtees and some bloke from Birmingham with a moustache!

    Great days all, and the hairs on the back of my neck (and the palms of my hands) tell me we have more to look forward to next year.

    1. Paul Moss says:

      Agree. I logged in to make the same points re Ferrari history – though i see you’ve made them better than i could have.

  3. Floyd says:

    FORZA ALONSO!

  4. Bav says:

    So the sulking brat has gone to Ferrari. Two races into the new season he’ll start cry like a baby because Massa won’t let him pass. Schumacher, the most over-rated driver in F1 history, only won his titles because the whole team was focused on him and none on his rubbish team mates (e.g. Eddie “I’m slow as hell” Irvine), who were hand picked. Ferrari never had the right car for Kimi, like Mclaren when he was there. When he returns, he’ll be faster that Hamilton, who will also start crying.

    1. Bevan says:

      Bav,I didn’t witness the exta pace of Kimi’s over Lewis at Spa last year,in fact it took biased FIA intervention to nullify the result from Hamilton’s searing speed.As for your point about Schumacher being over rated,did you think the other twenty odd drivers gifted him his SEVEN WDC’s,he lacked etiquette protecting his race line,sometimes dangerously but over rated ?.”I think not”.Love him or hate him he was dynamite.Agree strongly with the first sentence of your post though.Ferrari best hide any controversial material from this chap or he’ll blackmail them with it if Felipe starts to dominate which is a possibility. God speed Felipe.

  5. Silverstoned says:

    James, after reading this post the family are geared up for a pro Kimi celebration outside the Ferrari shop in London. Can you please join us james, just a few short minutes?
    We’ll be there the whole of next week and we’re all wearing red shower caps and speedos. I’ll bring a set for you if you like.

    1. James Allen says:

      Can’t I’m afraid – I’m in Suzuka

      1. Matt says:

        I bet you’re gutted!

  6. Fausta says:

    I am extremely happy with the Ferrari – Mac driver situation and look forward to 2010 more than any of the recent years. Hopefully Kimi’s hunger will be at a higher level than these past couple years. Alonso has shown he is a complete package and it really sets the stage for an epic year!

  7. Jason C says:

    If Kimi does go to McLaren, then surely with their form right now he’ll be the favourite for 2010… that’s if he doesn’t break the car (joke).

    1. Pay The Piper says:

      As long as McLaren security keep a sharp eye out for Adrian Newey trying to sneak back in the building, he should be fine.

  8. Lee says:

    why did you miss Massa’s name out at the end of your itv feature on the Alonso move?????????????

  9. Jason says:

    Cant wait to see Alonso/Massa in the Ferrari and Hamilton/Raikkonen in the McLaren cars racing at the top again next year. Here’s to both teams getting their cars together for 2010!

  10. teamworkf1 (toronto-ON) says:

    I’m sure that you know the real story behind this.

    ferrari was thinking to have Kimi AND fa together, dropping massa. But of course, after massa’s accident, ferrari didn’t have the courage to dump him!

    So, bringing fa ahead of 2011 will cover their A$$es as massa, we all know, is not a gem!
    The problem is that ferrari didn’t know about all the mess with fa, at the time, and not many are happy, right now. Time will tell.

    As a McLaren fan, I AM THRILL to have Kimi back, and specially beside Lewis!.

    ferrari is screwed! either way! :D :D :D

  11. Filipe Viola says:

    It’s the news everyone knew and was waiting for. I just hope he can get along with Massa.

    There’s some talks about a super-team being developed around Alonso with the names of Geof Willis (ex-Red Bull) and Jorg Zander (ex-Brawn) involved.

    Driver market will start to move from on. This is my look at the driver line-up for 2010:

    Brawn-Mercedes
    -Nico Rosberg
    -Jason Button

    Ferrari
    -Fernando Alonso
    -Felipe Massa

    Mclaren-Mercedes
    -Lewis Hamilton
    -Kimi Räikkönen

    Red Bull-Mercedes
    -Sebastian Vettel
    -Mark Webber

    Renault
    -Robert Kubica
    -Romain Grosjean
    -Timo Glock

    Williams-Cosworth
    -Nick Heidfeld
    -Rubens Barrichello
    -Nico Hülkenberg

    Toyota
    -Adrian Sutil
    -Kazuki Nakajima

    Force India-Mercedes
    -Adrian Sutil
    -Vitantonio Liuzzi
    -Karun Chandock

    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
    -Sebastien Buemi
    -Jaime Alguersuari

    Lotus-Cosworth?
    -?
    -?

    USF1-Cosworth?
    -Graham Rahal
    -Frank Montagny

    Campos-Cosworth?
    -Pedro de la Rosa
    -Brunno Senna

    Manor-Cosworth?
    -Alvaro Parente
    -?

    I’m i missing anyone?

    1. F1 Kitteh says:

      So Fernando will have to drive for Ferrari + the super team and Renault/Williams/Force India will be racing 3-seaters? You forgot Piquet, I figure he will be at Macca as Hamilton was the only one praising him ..

    2. Lee Grant says:

      That’s quite a thing for Brawn – two new drivers!

      Has this new Button bloke been brought in to cut costs on driver wages and stationery spend?

  12. Arnet says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more clear example of a scripted response. I mean, has Alonso ever spoken in that manner with the press before? All it does is make one wonder what the truth is. And saying that Luca really wanted the 3 year contract…what does that mean?

  13. Adron Gardner says:

    Alonso is the currently the only double world champion. And his character and overt enthusiasm probably fits the Ferrari brand better than Raikkonen’s more introverted style.

    I also think, Raikkonen parking his Ferrari in the garage and getting a popsicle earlier this year didn’t do him any favors.

    1. Paige Michael-Shetley says:

      He had a mechanical failure and wasn’t going to get back out on the track. His race was over, so what do you think he should have done? Gotten underneath the car with the mechanics to investigate the failure?

      1. Adron Gardner says:

        I recall the team made a bad gamble on the tires and he dropped like a brick through the procession. When everybody else was parked on the grid in the rain, he put the nose into the garage and had some ice cream even when the mechanics were still working on the car.

        Kimi is probably the most gifted driver out there, but when everybody else is working their ass off or soaked to the bone, he was having dessert.

      2. Andy says:

        This is simply wrong. The team had retired Kimi from the race, he wasn’t going to be racing that day anymore no matter what.

  14. jim says:

    ferrari doesnt deserve a kimi..they deserve an alonso who has part of the 2 gates so far and whines like a little girl when the team supports both drivers, not just exclusively him.

    and ferrari knows a thing or two about making the 2nd driver work from the get go to serve the 1st as a slave so he will be happy there….

    kimi in a mclaren will beat alonsos little whining @ss in a ferrari. i am loiking forward to the day alonos and ferrari will be humiliated by kimi.

    1. Corso says:

      Haters you are so funnt people… Next year gonna be a great and you gonna see what Alonso is able to do with a competitive car. Only double World Champion in the fiels. Whatever you like or not.

  15. brendan says:

    It ‘should’ be a great great season. its all set up nicely. alonso vs Lewis, with kimi there. hopefully he will be back to his 2005 best.

    slightly amused with all the massa is better than fernando comments.

    Huge respect for massa but alonso has scored over 100(usually well over) points every time he has had a title challenging car. Massa during 06-08 did not. and at the end of the days thats what counts.

  16. Yasir says:

    Enjoy the attention Stefano! Kimi and Mclaren will be kicking your butt in 2010. The Iceman cometh…and he be p***d!

  17. Paul Leeson says:

    “I’m very happy and very proud to become a Ferrari driver,”

    Somewhat different to his stance 2 or 3 years ago then, it seems more than a little hypocritical to me.

  18. tomo says:

    Well, i personally will be putting my money on Kimi to take the title.

    Should be a cracking season, I only hope here in Australia the coverage does not move to Foxtel (Pay TV.)

  19. HR says:

    Hi James,

    In your previous post you wrote:

    “He went to McLaren because, unlike most young racers, Ferrari was not his childhood dream, McLaren was. This is because it was Ayrton Senna’s team. But almost as soon as he started there he realised that Ron Dennis was not the person he thought he was and the rest was downhill fast.”

    Perhaps, but I think it had a lot to do with Hamilton’s speed as well.

    Remember he was outraced in both Canada and Indianapolis by Lewis and it was after these two races that he really started throwing his toys out of the pram. He was a double World Champion and he had just been shown the way home by a rookie, twice. Who can forget Alonso’s fists waving in frustration at Indy when Lewis came of the pits ahead of him?

    Once Ron refused to control Hamilton (and let Alonso win) it was always going to end in tears. But I agree that perhaps we are now in for some sensational racing.

    1. brendan says:

      if u remember right, fernando was told to hold station. thats what he was annoyed about. hence why he didnt try to retake him again.

      do you think a double world champion would just have one attempt and then give up.

      team orders mate. thats what annoyed fernando. and us fans as it spoiled a good race. another ruined USA GP.

      something the world forgets. plus the team said on the radio to lewis to thank fernando(for not ignoring the order)

  20. john says:

    James,honestly,how much would you give to get back in tv commentary next season?

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Let’s start a collection and get rid of the horse racing commentator. His blogs are so lazy and the guy adds nothing to the team.

      He is a BBC old timer a la Alan Yentob and will not go easily. Let’s collect for his retirement.

      James, please come back.

      1. " for sure " says:

        Agreed. Legard always sounds to me as if he is commenting for radio. Constantly stating the obvious and filling every gap with gibberish.

        If you are watching on a digital channel, try some of the alternative commentaries. You’ll miss Brundle, but on balance, the experience in my view is better.

  21. Ted the Mechanic says:

    So pleased we don’t have to wait until 2011 to see Fernando in a Ferrari. Let’s hope the 2010 Ferrari is a competitive beast and that we have at least 4 or 5 teams capable of winning races on a consistent basis. And then maybe we will see the great drivers shine…

  22. Roberto says:

    Alonso is the most complete driver of the new F1 era he`s fast, inteligent and knows pretty well how to develop a car. The downside is that probably he will brig some turnmoil to a very smooth team, were there hasn`t being internal fights in many many years.

  23. pbyrne says:

    “…not only a driver of great talent, but also victorious, as he has shown many times throughout his career, ALSO UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS.”

    Sometimes the least quoted part of a Ferrari press release is the most illuminating. They want a driver who will fight as hard for 8th place as he will for a win.

  24. Ray.C. says:

    Question for all…

    Who is the better driver, Kimi or Fernando?

    1. F1 Kitteh says:

      You are really looking to fan the flames !! I say equally good =P

      1. Ray.C. says:

        OK…Try this,

        Who is the better driver in the wet?

      2. F1 Kitteh says:

        Don’t have scientific proof for this but it seems neither are super super good in the wet? Of the current lot I’d say Rubens usually produce something special (again not that I counted the results, more just my impression….)

    2. Antonis says:

      there are so many facets!

      1. the faster: Kimi
      2. the most consistent: Fernando
      3. the hungrier: Fernadno
      4. … and so on

      but i guess the real question is:

      “Who has better chances of delivering the Championship for Ferrari?”

      and the very clear answer is: Fernando!

  25. Craig says:

    so from what I make of all this Kimi hasn’t done anything wrong. LDM has found himself a new toy and has biffed his old one from the toybox. FA is silly to sign for three years when LDM will probably be sick of him in eighteen months. which brings me to the question of multi year contracts. What’s the point? IMO all contracts should be for one year. I’m gonna be laughing if Kimi gets a WDC (assuming he stays in F1 and I hope he does) while FA flounders around mid pack. With Red Bull, Brawn, Macca, and Williams (if they get a good engine) all being competitive next year, it may be hard for anyone team or driver to cruise to a WDC or WCC. Sounds like we are in for a mega season next year!! Can’t wait. Sorry Ferrari. I was a Kimi fan before he joined you guys so I’m going to wherever he does.

  26. Oli says:

    Hammy is 5/2 I believe!

    Nelson Piquet Jr at 1000/1. Hmmmmm……

  27. vik says:

    Well Domenicali and Montezemolo got what they wanted.

    If anyone saw the press conference for the podium winners after the last race, I thought it seemed kind of blatantly obvious that this was going to happen.

    When Alonso made his initially responded about his point of view on the race, his body language completly changed, he started talking bout his engineers and the team helping him. It just seemed a little weird, as though he was out of his comfort zone, his body language was just screaming out almost as though that didn’t agree with what he was saying.

    After he finished making that statement, his body language changed once again, he seemed really satisfied with the way he responded.

    I didn’t get to watch the whole press conference, but the second I saw that happen I just turned to my mates and just went, he’s leaving.

    I’m tempted to say that he acted that way because he knew that is possibly the last time he is going to be on the podium with Renault.

    Wondering if you noticed anything too James?

    Haha, the only double world champion in F1 in a Ferrari, kind of deserves to be favourite to win the championship.

  28. AlexD says:

    Alonso said what he expected to say. He is interested in winning, be it with Ferrari or Campos. There is nothing wrong with it, but I do not think he is proud to be with any team. He just needs a fast winning car, that’s it.

  29. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Alonso could not beat Hamilton in an equal car. He can go on about set up and oversteer and all the other gumpf, but he had the upper hand in terms of technical knowledge but was beaten by a rookie.

    Hamilton slipped up in a couple of races but solidly outraced Alonso throughout the season.

    I think that we have gone all “gaga” over Alonso…because we miss Schumacher’s presence and are scouring around to hail another maestro.

    Alonso is not the maestro that Schumacher was and I’m sure that Michael would have achieved more at Renault than Fernando.

    Come on…if Martin Brundle put Jenson Button up against Alonso as being the best drivers on the grid then something has to be out of perspective. Would Martin have mentioned Jenson and MS in the same sentence?

  30. Paul Moss says:

    On Lotus F1 drivers, local media here in Malaysia have quoted team principal Tony Fernandes as saying they have lined up a driver of ‘vast’ experience for 2010. So who’s available and has ‘vast’ experience and would be a Gascoyne pick?
    Jarno Trulli perhaps from current drivers?
    From left-field, Jacques Villeneuve’s name has been bandied around too.

  31. CptZorg says:

    Forgive me for bringing up these nasty conspiracy theories again, I guess I’ve been primed by all the goings on in the past couple of years.

    Although I don’t deny Alonso is a great driver on par with anyone out there today, there’s something fishy about the timing of his move to the Scuderia. Am I alone in thinking Bernie & Montezuma brought the deal forward so they could get their great Spanish asset to the safety of the legendary team – just in case there’s a backlash re Crashgate? Surely one would think Flav would not want to mess with the boys in red, assuming he was planning to out Fred or otherwise cause a scene? Witness the soothing statements regarding Flav’s predicament by Bernie & Monte, money being thrown around, MM’s slight backtracking on the verdict etc…

    1. " for sure " says:

      Don’t forget that big slug of the money would have ended up in Briatore’s pocket. The deal was signed way back and doubtless was watertight to take care of the eventual outcome when Teflonso finally moved.

  32. Rudy Pyatt says:

    Fact is, the guy has always been special. You only had to do see what he did in the Minardi. I was there when he debuted in Indianapolis. He had that thing up the time sheets (16th I think, even after the big dogs had put in some scorching laps) where it simply didn’t belong, even in practice. So, even without scoring points, you could see that he was out-driving the car, getting more from it than it would have delivered otherwise. Only the best can do that, and he is one of the best.

    1. CarlitosF1 says:

      Great point. Haters will be haters, but 2008 and 2009 have made Alonso a better driver. He says so and I think so: he is proven himself able to squeeze poor cars way beyond its theoretical possibilities, from day 1 in Minardi.

      Kimi and Lewis have done very much the same in different parts of the ongoing season. ALO, RAI and HAM, 3 best drivers in the grid right now. They got it, others don’t.

  33. Spyros says:

    I’m curious how Alonso will work alongside Massa. Presumably Ferrari’s days of having No.1 and No.2 drivers are over… I really can’t see Alonso stamping his foot and demanding No.1 status, since he is a world champion…

    …but can he see himself doing that??

  34. jose says:

    james,
    Alonso’s career seems similar to prost’s.
    He is going to ferrari, to a team mate very fast, and well liked, the same happened with mansell, in 1990.
    His political skills are not the same as prost’s. We saw that in 2007.
    Do you think history can repeat itself in la scuderia.

  35. richard hughes says:

    they are LOVING this in Spain at the moment. i dread to think what its going to be like next year.

    at the moment, even when FA comes in third, its all they talk about on the news – never really mention who won!

  36. pedro says:

    James, in fact, Alonso is the second Spanish driver to compete for Ferrari. First was Alfonso de Portago, who died in an accident in 1957, during the Mille Miglia:

    http://forix.autosport.com/8w/portago.html

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes I know, but I was talking about champions

  37. whilyn says:

    I think Alonso in his jubilation forgot to thanks his sponsor in getting this Ferrari drive THANK YOU, SANTANDER

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