Reports: Alonso Turned Down Ferrari For '09

Mike JonesCorrespondent IJanuary 3, 2009

Reports have recently surfaced from the Spanish newspaper Diaro AS that Alonso was offered a contract to drive for Scuderia Ferrari for the 2009 season.

But, the Spaniard allegedly turned down the offer, citing it "would not be fair" to his current employer, ING Renault. Alonso signed a contract extension with the Renault squad through the 2010 season during the busy off-season. 

On the same day, an additional paper, Gazzetta dello Sport, reported that Alonso did turn the cold shoulder towards Ferrari management for the 2009 season. However the report said Alonso did committ to a two year contract to drive for Ferrari, starting in 2011.

Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo has denied both report. Montezemolo went on to say "we confirmed Massa and Raikkonen for 2009 and 2010; we have a lot of faith in these drivers."

When asked if the Ferrari team had sought Alonso this off-season, Montezemolo said the team "could have signed him when he still was at Minardi, but life is long."

Throughout the 2008 season, rumors emerged that Raikkonen was to be dispatched from the team at the end of the season, possibly being forced into an early retirement. The replacement driver was set to be Alonso, becoming his third team in as many years.

A late season surge by the Renault team calmed most of the rumors, and instead lead to Alonso staying with the team for at least one more year. The Diaro AS paper reported that while Alonso was tempted, he ultimately wanted to remain with Renault out of "loyalty" to the brand he previously won two world championships with.