One of the biggest points of discussion amongst Formula 1 fans over the past few years has been on the subject of Fernando Alonso driving for Ferrari.
In the past, it was a rumor barely able to hold its own given the contractual situations regarding Ferrari and Fernando Alonso, but it remained an idea that made sense to many given Alonso's driving ability and was, therefore, considered an inevitability for the future.
As Kimi Raikkonen's performance at Ferrari began to dwindle in 2008, the rumors gained a second wind and have only intensified since, with Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo having stated he would like to see Alonso at Ferrari, but stating their drivers still had contracts through 2010 and that there was plenty of time left in Alonso's career.
That time may be drawing near, as Ferrari's president has suddenly changed his tone towards the matter at hand. When previously questioned about Alonso driving for Ferrari in 2010, Luca di Montezemolo has always sternly stated Raikkonen had a contract through 2010 and basically dismissed the idea. But he has now been quoted with the following statement:
“A Spanish or a Finnish driver? We’ll take some decisions within a few weeks,”
He went on to confirm that Felipe Massa will remain at Ferrari next season and once again revisited the idea that Raikkonen may not be returning.
“What’s certain is that we’ll have a Brazilian driver who deserves another chance, because thank God he is fine now. As for the rest, we are pondering over the best choice.”
Many believe the decision to pay off Raikkonen's salary in order to get Alonso in before 2011 does not make sense financially, however, F1 is known for its outrageous spending and Ferrari is among the top spenders within it. If they can afford to pay the price for a more consistent driver with a lot of time left, it may be worth it to them, seeing as how Raikkonen has shown variation in his performance ability as well as in leaving F1 before long.
Let's not forget Ferrari is leading the fight in suggesting three-car teams next season and openly admitting they would like to have Michael Schumacher as a third driver. Three contracts, three expensive drivers, the money is there, and they are willing to spend it.
One thing is for sure, Felipe Massa will have to get back in form quickly to give the fans what may be a very entertaining 2010 season if Alonso hops on board, as both drivers are outspoken, emotional and committed to their teams.