Alonso ‘set to join Ferrari in 2011’

An Italian newspaper has reported that Renault’s Fernando Alonso has secretly shaken hands on a deal that will see him join Ferrari for four years from 2011.

According to La Gazzetta, the two-time world champion could make the switch even earlier if current Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen starts the 2009 season like he ended the 2008 one.

La Gazzeta noted that Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was non-commital about the future of his drivers when chatting to journalists at his team’s recent Christmas bash.

He was quoted as saying: "We have (Felipe) Massa and Raikkonen under contract for the next two years. As for the future, we’ll see. Alonso is a great champion, but life is long. He’s young."

It was evident early in the season that Alonso didn’t have the car to win the championship for Renault last season but that he still had the ability to win races – as in Singapore and Japan – and be a thorn in the side of rivals such as Lewis Hamilton.

Written by James Christie

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