Ferrari to buy out Allison's Lotus contract (5th Update) UPDATE #5
(GMM) Ferrari looks set to buy out the remainder of former technical director James Allison's Lotus contract.
That is the claim of Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper, following reports the Briton is definitely headed to Maranello.
Correspondents Luis Vasconcelos and Heikki Kulta report that Allison neared an agreement with Honda, initially to build a test car ahead of the Japanese manufacturer's return as works engine supplier to McLaren in 2015.
But when McLaren "did not support the idea" of a Honda test car, Allison's eyes reportedly turned back to Ferrari, where he worked between 2000 and 2005.
"It is believed Allison could get to work (at Ferrari) in the early autumn", working alongside Pat Fry and Nicolas Tombazis, Turun Sanomat added.07/05/13 (GMM) A Spanish correspondent is certain James Allison is headed to Ferrari.
Briton Allison stepped down as Lotus' highly-rated technical director earlier this season, and his next move has been the subject of intense paddock speculation ever since.
But Manuel Franco, the correspondent for the Spanish sports daily AS, reported from the Nurburgring that Allison, 45, is definitely heading to Italy.
"AS is certain that Allison has signed for Ferrari," Franco wrote on Thursday.
"McLaren wanted him to replace Paddy Lowe, but he (Allison) preferred to go to Ferrari."
Franco said Allison is currently serving his six months of obligatory 'gardening leave'.05/24/13 The destination of former Lotus F1 Team Technical Director James Allison remains unknown, and it seems that the original stories suggesting that he had signed a deal with a rival team may have been wide of the mark, which helps to explain why everyone was previously denying having signed a deal.
If no deal was agreed no-one involved would have been telling lies.
There is a lot of talk in the paddock about Allison returning to Ferrari, and while the team is not denying that talking could be taking place, some of my sources continue to insist that no deal is yet done and there is a suspicion that there may be other teams involved in the negotiations. It is thus safe to assume that the mystery of Allison’s destination has come about because he himself is not sure where he is going, which in turn confirms the theory that he left Lotus without knowing his future, because he decided that he no longer wanted to work with the Lotus F1 Team. Some sources say that this came after a number of senior staff were laid off. If there was an NDA (as some of the teams have said) it may now have run out.
Allison cannot work for anyone until at least September – given the six-month “gardening leave” stipulations – and will thus have very little input into the cars for 2014. Joe Saward 05/11/13 (GMM) James Allison's next destination in F1 will be known in two weeks.
That is the claim of former F1 driver Alex Wurz, who said in Barcelona on Saturday that he has spoken with Lotus' newly departed technical director since he decided to leave the Enstone based team.
The big paddock rumor is that Briton Allison, 45, is heading to Italy.
"He feels good in Italy," Austrian Wurz told ORF television from Spain, "but of course that could be Toro Rosso."
Wurz knows Allison, who worked at Ferrari in the ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era, since his days as a Benetton driver in the late 90s.
"We worked together really well," he said.
"I have asked him what he's doing next, but he didn't want to say other than it will be (known in) two weeks."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Luca di Montezemolo have hinted that Allison might have a future in red.
The fabled Maranello team's chief designer Nikolas Tombazis said in Barcelona: "I'm very good friends with James.
"I think he's a super bloke both technically and 'humanly'. I think that any team having him would be making a good buy."05/09/13 (GMM) A big topic of conversation in the Barcelona paddock on Thursday was James Allison.
Lotus' highly rated 45-year-old technical director is now on 'gardening leave' and also on the market, with the big rumor linking him with Ferrari.
Allison worked at the Maranello team during the ultra-successful Michael Schumacher era, and also with Fernando Alonso during his Renault title years.
Spaniard Alonso said on Thursday: "We would always welcome any extra help.
"We've seen the (competitiveness of the) Lotus car in the last three years and it's no secret that he is one of the top men here (in F1).
"We will see what the future is for him," he added.
Also being discussed on Thursday was whether Allison's departure will be the trigger for Kimi Raikkonen, who has been linked with Red Bull, to leave Lotus.
The Finn was typically cool.
"For me, it doesn't really make a difference but I cannot tell if it makes a difference in one week or in one year, or maybe it doesn't make a difference, I really don't know," he said.
"Obviously you (want to) keep the people in the team but I think there is a lot of strong people and we should be fine."05/09/13 Rumors are linking Lotus' newly departed technical director James Allison with a move to Ferrari.
Lotus announced on Wednesday that the highly-rated 45-year-old Briton, who worked at Maranello in the Michael Schumacher era, is leaving.
Reports immediately linked Allison with a return to Ferrari.
Italy's Autosprint said Allison's next paddock destination is unlikely to be known for at least six months, the standard 'gardening leave' period.
Ferrari aside, "another possibility (for Allison) is a change to Williams," wrote Tobias Gruner in Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Autosprint's Alberto Antonini commented: "James Allison wanted better financial conditions, which Lotus could not provide."