August 30, 2008

Expected confirmation: Kimi and Felipe at Ferrari for 2009

As we told you last week, confirmation of Ferrari's 2009 lineup came punctually at the end of the Monza tests. Not a surprise after Schumacher's statements before Valencia and, of course, the correct thing for Ferrari to do.

Ferrari does not need Alonso now, certainly not while being well in the hunt for both Driver and Constructor's championship. Commenting today, Ferrari president Luca Di Montezemolo is also about the Asturian. There is no mention of 2010.

I think the truth about Alonso's future will be revealed with his drive announcement for next year. If he stays at Renault another year then he still has hopes to go to Ferrari in 2010. If he announces Honda then that's pretty much it for Fernando's career arc.

After the jump, wide ranging excerpts from Di Montezemolo's interview in today's Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Can Fernando Alonso still be confident in a Ferrari future?

"I don't know if the poor guy can be at ease, that is up to him at this moment" Said Montezemolo referring to the sad state of Renault lately. "I was saddened to see a great champion like him not in the top ten at Valencia. But as far as Ferrari he can put his mind at ease..."

For sure that means he can be at ease that, at the moment, Ferrari's doors are closed for the Spaniard.

Later, during a walk on pit lane, Montezemolo met and warmly greeted Alonso and then went to visit Lewis Hamilton with whom he shared an embrace.

About Raikkonen, Montezemolo commented.

"You cannot forget he's World Champion and that last year he won in his first year at Ferrari something many doubted could be accomplished. Now he racked up 17 wins and I hope he will get unblocked for the next GP in Belgium. In any case he is not a driver in crisis."
Montezemolo goes on to say "Kimi is motivated and we have to work hard to put him in the position to start further up the grid, especially on these new circuits I detest and are bad for Formula 1, you cannot pass and nine times out of ten are won by whoever is on pole."

And Felipe?

"I would define him a product of our farm system and now mature enough to win the title"

But what about a number one and number two driver, who do you choose?

"It's the old refrain that goes back to the time of Lauda and Regazzoni, the hierarchy is only determined by the stopwatch not the president. Any driver, be it a Schumacher, Barrichello, Raikkonen or Massa in the end is a Ferrari employee"

He's sorry that so many points were lost to reliability but concludes:

"For the last eleven years we have won or come in secont in the championship and given the number of teams that have come and gone during the same period, this is quite an achievement, we will be in the hunt up to the end this year as well"

from Gazzetta dello Sport
photos: ANSA


  1. I don't really get the decision. Massa has been more consistent and successful this season than Kimi.

  2. Do yoou mean about not declaring Massa #1 for the rest of the year?

    Let me put my tin foil Arai on and see:

    1. Last Year at this same point in the season Kimi was even further behind.

    2. THere might be something in his contract about being #2.

    3: The... tin foil-lingnest of them all. If Kimi wins WDC this year he might actually decide to pack it in making the decision to hire Alonso easier.

    4. Massa is the Rodney Dangerfield of F1.


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