Rumours about Fernando Alonso joining Ferrari kept surfacing last year but seemed to have been killed off when the Scuderia revealed it had extended Kimi Raikkonen’s contract.
So what do we make of the fresh rumours of Alonso joining the team in 2011? Here’s why I think they make a lot of sense.
The best team and the best driver
The best drivers in F1 always gravitate towards the best team: think of Ayrton Senna at Alain Prost at McLaren in the 1980s, then squabbling over the seats at Williams a few years later.
Ferrari have consistently built the best or among the best F1 cars in every season this decade. And Alonso is the best driver in F1 at the moment. He’s the man you hire if you’ve built a championship-winning car and want to make sure you get both the titles. Yes, there are plenty of other drivers who can get the job done, but if you had to pick the driver you could most rely on to take care of it, you’d have to pick Alonso.
That’s why Ferrari plus Alonso makes sense: they are two parties made for each other.
A reliable source
When Autosport ran the new Alonso-to-Ferrari rumour they credited it to “respected journalist Pino Allievi”. James Allen on his blog added:
I have known Pino for almost 20 years and in that time I?óÔéĽÔäóm 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?óÔéĽÔäós time. So you can take it as read that this story is true. And it will really shake things up in F1.
There’s a symmetry with this and the timing of the announcement in 2005 of Alonso’s move to McLaren. That deal was done shortly after the Brazilian Grand Prix and made public over the winter of 2005/06.
The timing of the deal also makes sense from the point of view of what we know about existing contracts: Both Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have deals in place until the end of 2010.
The future of Renault
When Alonso decided to leave Renault in 2005 his decision was partly motivated by uncertainty over the team’s future. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn later confirmed Renault’s participation in F1 and has said they will remain in the sport until at least 2012.
But in these uncertain financial times is Alonso wagering the French manufacturer will leave F1 sooner rather than later? Is he unimpressed with how the team lagged behind on engine development in 2008?
Do you believe the Alonso-to-Ferrari-in-2011 rumour?
- Yes (82%)
- No (18%)
Total Voters: 569