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Alonso makes first official appearance as a Ferrari driver
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Alonso makes first official appearance as a Ferrari driver
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Nov 2009   |  11:49 pm GMT  |  32 comments

Fernando Alonso today took his first bow as a Ferrari driver, appearing at the Ferrari finals day in Valencia.

Photo: Ferrari

Photo: Ferrari

A crowd in excess of 17,000 turned up at the Riccardo Tormo circuit to see Alonso and his 2010 team mate Felipe Massa and to watch the final rounds of some of the key Ferrari championships featuring 129 drivers from around the world.

When it was announced earlier in the year that this important day in the Ferrari calendar would take place in Spain, it was yet more proof that a deal to take Alonso to Ferrari was in the pipeline, as it subsequently proved.

Alonso is under contract with Renault and related sponsors until December 31, but he was allowed to attend the day, wearing a Perry Como-style golf sweater.

“It is a very important day to me, a very happy one, the first day I could enjoy all the atmosphere and all of what the Ferrari world means,” he said.

“It is already a great feeling to have the whole team together…I hope we are going to have the best team in 2010. The first impression was really good. In 2010 I hope to fight for the world title together with Felipe and that all the fans can be proud of us and our professionalism.”

ALoMass Valen
There was an amusing moment when Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo got a Ferrari California Spyder stuck in the sand below the grandstands, much to the amusement of his drivers, who were sitting on the back of the car. They were picked up in another Ferrari by the mayor of Valencia who was following behind.

Di Montezemolo promised that after a “year on vacation” Ferrari would “return to win the world championship.”

“We will have the two best drivers in F1 next season, with the intention of hitting the heights of 2007, ” he said.

Wishing to underline that the competition between the two is to be focussed on making Ferrari win, rather than develop into a self-destructive feud, he continued,

“They will drive for Ferrari and not for themselves, otherwise there are plenty of other teams out there. Massa is motivated, hungry and ready. Alonso is the best driver in the world, along with Massa.”

There was an emotional moment for Massa when he climbed behind the wheel of an F60 Ferrari for the first time since he crashed one at Budapest in July and did a few laps, “Today is better than a victory for me,” said the Brazilian, who reported no problems with driving the car again.

Montezemolo also announced that Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi will test a Ferrari F1 car again in January and that next year’s Ferrari finals day will take place in Abu Dhabi, to coincide with the opening of Ferrari World, the largest indoor theme park in the world.

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  1. Adiebrown says:

    Is Fernando planning on bringing ‘Fashon-by-Shuey’ to the Ferrari team. That’s a truly horrible jumper!

    I don’t think I could cope with Michaels’ taste in high-end Cowboy fashon and what could be the start of Fernando’s lovely sweater collection!!!!

  2. Alan. Zechter says:

    Hi James, long time reader but first time poster on your blog!

    Interesting point about Alonso’s contract with Renault lasting until the end of the year becuase surley Raikkonen should have been there too? Or perhaps his contract was terminated as of Abu Dhabi.

  3. Hugh says:

    Massa looks ready for title glory.

  4. Darren says:

    i really don’t like Ferrari. But i will be cheering for Massa to wipe the floor with Teflonso.

  5. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    Terrible sweater that Alonso is wearing – very Paul Daniels…..well Alonso does like practicing magic tricks!

    James, how much pressure is Domenicali under at the moment?

    1. James Allen says:

      He needs to deliver next year, that’s for sure.

      1. fff says:

        No he doesn’t – he can just blame it on the drivers.

  6. Robert Mc says:

    I see Alonso borrowed his grandad’s jumper for the event.

    I guess money really can’t buy good taste :-)

  7. David S says:

    “They will drive for Ferrari and not for themselves, otherwise there are plenty of other teams out there…

    I’ll give Alonso 6 months until all hell breaks loose…Massa was never really taken THAT seriously…until 2010…watch this space..The BIGGEST toys will fall from the LARGEST pram…can you hear the drums Fernando…

  8. michael c says:

    “They will drive for Ferrari and not for themselves, otherwise there are plenty of other teams out there. Massa is motivated, hungry and ready. Alonso is the best driver in the world, along with Massa.”

    Oh dear Felipe the phsycology has begun – thanks Luca…. all the best Felipe – drive Teflonso’s wheels off

  9. PaulL says:

    I saw some photos on Autosport.com/f1 of the 2008 Ferrari on exhibition. So good.
    Remember when F1 cars used to look like racing machines not matchbox cars?

  10. Nic Maennling says:

    There’s no business like show business !

    I feel a twinge of sadness for Massa as he does not have the aggressiveness of Alonso, and will inevitably be overshadowed by him.

    Forza Ferrari !

    1. James Allen says:

      Wait and see. He’s not as aggressive, but he’s crafty and frankly unbeatable on some tracks.

  11. El Shish says:

    I wonder if it’s perhaps time for Rob Smedley to have a word with Felipe about the thumbs up. I can’t remember the last time I saw a picture of him not giving a thumbs up to the camera.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thumbs up to that comment.

  12. Stu says:


    Here’s a you tube clip taken by a fan in the grand stand showing them getting stuck. Very funny.

  13. Stevie P says:

    Is that Fernando’s Christmas sweater? Nice…! ;-)

    Really looking forward to seeing how these 2 compare on the track next season… Massa has more steel than people give him credit for and Alonso has always been a battler. There may be some sparks… :-)

    1. Andy Fov says:

      Perry Como? I was thinking more Alan Partridge.

      1. Silverstoned says:

        Don’t forget Val Doonican…

  14. David Hodge says:

    Fernando Alonso – professional golfer I think wearing that sweater…

  15. Janet says:

    Looking forward to the battle, I must say!!!

    Go Hamilton!

  16. Graeme Brown says:

    Was it a condition of allowing Alonso to appear for Ferrari when he’s still under contract to Renault that he wears the most ridiculous sweater? Or does he just need some lessons in style from Luca De Montezemolo?

    1. fff says:

      Yeah well alonso comes to the “end of the season” party. Right!

  17. adam says:

    The best angle… you can see the reality dawning on Alonso’s face that the Ferrari management are an “absolute shower” (Copyright Terry Thomas)


  18. Stu says:

    What a horrid jumper is what first comes to mind!

  19. Silverstoned says:

    Round 2
    Massa 1 Alonso 0

  20. Stephen Kellett says:

    You got the titled of the article wrong.

    It should have been “Fernando in Fashin Faux Pas!”.

  21. Max says:

    Dear james,

    i’m a big Massa fan, i think he can handle Alonso with Smedley and Salvi,

    From an experts view, with your knowledge, do you??

    1. James Allen says:

      Could do. He will certainly beat him on certain tracks, like Interlagos, Istanbul. He was still improving when he crashed so it’s a question of whether that continues or whether he’s plateaued now.

  22. George O'Donnell says:

    I can’t wait to see Massa back. I don’t need so say any more – I’m just so excited because I have so much respect for him.

    Excited too about another Rossi test!


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