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DATE News (chronologically)
11/04/14
f1
Alonso to McLaren, Vettel to Ferrari (15th Update) UPDATE #15
Alonso is McLaren bound
(GMM)  After a frantic period of mystery and speculation, the course of Fernando Alonso's future is now beginning to clear.

Multiple authoritative sources are reporting that the Spaniard is definitely headed to McLaren-Honda, on an initial two-year deal to be Danish youngster Kevin Magnussen's teammate.

"Could be," team boss Eric Boullier told Spain's Antena 3 when asked about Alonso's future in connection with McLaren, where he drove with Mercedes power in 2007.

"He is one of the drivers we have spoken to," the Frenchman admitted.  "He is one of the options.

"I hope that we have decided before Abu Dhabi, I want it to be done by then, but until now we have not decided."

If the Alonso reports are true, the news is expected to end Jenson Button's F1 career, amid suggestions he could be headed to Le Mans with Porsche.

Boullier continued: "One of the reasons it is taking us so long is that we have to make the right decision with someone who fits the team's strategy for the coming years.

"I apologize to the fans, but it is something very important.  Undoubtedly the most important decision in a long time."

F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi, a former champion for McLaren, thinks Alonso and the British team are the right fit for 2015.

"Honda will want to return with guarantees," he told Spain's Marca, "and Fernando is one of the best drivers to develop a new project.  I think it can be very successful."

The Swiss newspaper Blick believes Alonso and McLaren actually agreed terms a few weeks ago in Russia, but for now the news remains unofficial.

"It looks like he is going there (to McLaren)," said another F1 legend, Mario Andretti, "but it's not clear.

"I spoke (in Austin) with Ron Dennis about it but he quickly changed the subject," Andretti smiled to Spain's AS sports daily.

Also waiting is Ferrari, but the Italian team undoubtedly has its announcement of Sebastian Vettel's impending arrival all ready to publish.

Boullier, meanwhile, dismissed speculation Honda will make its return to F1 next year only after a troubled period of development.

"It is curious that all the rumors about the engine being wrong or not being on time are coming from Italy," he said.

"Don't worry.  We will be ready."

10/31/14 As reported by AR1.com that an announcement is likely this weekend, McLaren-Honda have a contract on the table for next season and all that is missing is Fernando Alonso's signature. The two parties have reached an agreement and the British team is so keen that it is willing to wait for as long as it takes for the Spaniard to see out his other options.

The two-time world champion has decided to take his time sorting out his future, both in terms of leaving Ferrari and selecting the destination which is in his best interests to tackle the final phase of his Formula 1 career.

Alonso wants to wait and see how the duel turns out between Hamilton and Rosberg and how Mercedes end up. He is clinging onto the slightest possibility of moving to the championship-winning team. And McLaren are willing to accept that, according to sources from the English team.

The financial agreement was simple enough and never posed any problems. The duration of the contract is not yet known, beyond the initial reluctance to give him just a single season before making a swift exit from the team.

The only demand being made by the men who in all probability will become his new bosses is that he is sure of his decision, however long that takes, and when he takes it, that he gets to work with the same commitment which he has shown at Ferrari over the past five seasons. Marca.com

10/29/14 As AR1.com reported earlier today, Italy's specialist La Gazzetta dello Sport has now declared that new Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne will travel to Austin this weekend for a double announcement -- Alonso's exit and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel.

10/29/14 According to AR1.com sources, McLaren will announce Alonso is driving for them next year prior to this weekend's USP in Austin. You read it here first.

10/22/14
Romain Grosjean smiling at the prospect of driving a Mercedes-powered car in 2015.
This article from Autosport says Romain Grosjean is likely to be back with Lotus in 2015. The Enstone-based team of course already has Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado on the books for next year, and seem likely to retain the Frenchman. Lotus recently announced they will run Mercedes power units, which have dominated the 2014 season, next year.

This is also further evidence that Fernando Alonso, who won the 2005and 2006 World Championships with the forerunner of Lotus, Renault, is off to McLaren. Of course, Alonso going to McLaren will leave a vacancy at Ferrari, which is expected to be filled by Sebastian Vettel.

For more on the Alonso to McLaren saga, see Brian Carroccio's article from last week.

AR1 Staff

10/15/14 This rumor, which AR1.com first revealed way back on May 10th, is now about to become 'fact' with the news that Alonso is leaving Ferrari, to be replaced by Sebastian Vettel making a reported $80 million per year, and Alonso almost definitely going to McLaren with Honda power.

10/04/14 Contrary to the majority of the rumors placing Alonso at McLaren and Vettel at Ferrari, our sources tell us it is still up in the air and we could see Vettel to McLaren and Alonso to sit out a year or drive a third Mercedes if the rules allow it.

10/03/14 With today's announcement that Vettel is leaving Red Bull, we are upgrading this rumor to 'strong' as it appear likely he is indeed headed to Ferrari while Alonso moves from Ferrari to McLaren.

10/03/14
No Ferrari for Alonso in 2015?
(GMM)  Not many well-informed insiders in the Suzuka paddock still believe Fernando Alonso will be a Ferrari driver in 2015.

In fact, the growing consensus is that the Spaniard's contract termination will be made public after the Japanese grand prix weekend.

It appears that the most likely destinations for Alonso are either McLaren or Red Bull.

Eric Boullier thinks the Woking team's looming works Honda status makes McLaren the obvious favorite.

"I think we are for many reasons," he told Britain's Sky at Suzuka.

"We will be one of three works teams on the grid next season with our new engine partner and that will be a game changer," said the Frenchman.

Perhaps bolstering McLaren's chances of securing Alonso was the news on Friday that the team is preparing an interim test car to run the Honda V6 even before the official start of the test season next February.

"McLaren and Honda (are working) together to design and create an experimental test vehicle to check the power unit system," confirmed Honda's Yasuhisa Arai.

The next question will be the identity of Alonso's successor at Ferrari.

Jules Bianchi is putting his hand up for the job, but also linked with the seat is the increasingly disgruntled Red Bull driver and reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Germany's Auto Bild claims relations between Red Bull and the German have "cooled considerably" in the last few weeks, as the team looks to the future with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told SID news agency: "No comment."

Vettel also said the rumors are "not true".

Will Vettel be wearing red in 2015?
10/02/14
(GMM)  After two weeks of intense speculation, Fernando Alonso on Thursday had to admit his future at Ferrari is currently unclear.

"I don't live on Mars," said the Spaniard at Suzuka, when asked by swarms of reporters if he was up to date with what has been happening in the press since Singapore.

Alonso can no longer deny that his frustration at Ferrari, and perhaps also the Maranello team's frustration with his flagging commitment, could lead him elsewhere in formula one.

Asked directly ahead of the Japanese grand prix to categorically rule out a move to a rival team like McLaren-Honda or Red Bull for 2014, he said: "That is a difficult question.

"I say only that I will do what is in the best interest of Ferrari," he is quoted by Speed Week.

"Ferrari is a big name, a big brand, bigger than any of us.  I will always act in the interest of the team," Alonso repeated.

But the rumors suggest otherwise: that, as probably the best driver in F1 today, the 33-year-old has finally tired of waiting for a title-winning Ferrari.

Alonso acknowledged: "Only if you win titles will the people keep thinking you are the best.  Of course I want to win more.

"I feel good, I'm fit.  This is the best phase of my career.

"Nothing has changed in the two weeks since Singapore.  There are some options on the table," he revealed.

One reporter pointed out that Alonso could easily stop or at least quieten the rumors by declaring plainly 'I am definitely staying at Ferrari'.

Alonso replied: "The bottom line is that you always have an idea of what you want to do.  And I do.

"I am happy that I have a choice in formula one.  Every driver cannot say that.  I consider myself lucky that I myself can decide about my future."

The team most linked with Alonso's services in 2015 has been McLaren, with Honda open to paying lucratively for F1's biggest name.

But surely Alonso cannot imagine reuniting with Ron Dennis, after the ill-fated events at McLaren in 2007?

"I had no war with anyone there," Alonso insisted.  "But I am with Ferrari, I drive for Ferrari and it would not be very respectful to talk about other teams."

If Alonso does go, Ferrari will be keen to replace him with another great champion.  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is a rumored candidate.

Italy's Autosprint reports on Thursday that a race engineer who once worked closely with Vettel at Toro Rosso - Riccardo Adami - is preparing to move from Faenza to Ferrari for 2015.

"A coincidence, or a clue?" read the report.

09/25/14 (GMM) Fernando Alonso is the man on everybody's lips this week in the world of formula one.

Musing the recent departure from the great but currently-troubled Ferrari of its long-term president Luca di Montezemolo, former F1 driver and champion Mika Hakkinen said: "Nothing is forever.

"Definitely it will not be the only change at Ferrari. There are many rumors," he said in his latest interview with sponsor Hermes.

All of the current rumors are about Spaniard Alonso, arguably the best and most coveted driver in F1 today who appears to have finally lost his patience with the Maranello team.

But according to the latest twist of rumors, it may be an entirely mutual divorce between the double world champion and the fabled Maranello marque.

The Spanish sports newspaper Marca claims there is a faction at Ferrari that wants to get "rid" of the 33-year-old so that it can rebuild for the future in peace over the next few years.

Indeed, Alonso's exit might at least end the current tumult in the rumor stakes.

But for now, the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton may be one of Ferrari's options to succeed Alonso, while Italy's Tuttosport claims reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel may even have signed a preliminary contract.

The German has already played down those latest reports.

"I've already said on numerous occasions that I've got a contract with Red Bull for next year and I'm working on the principle that I will still be driving for them," Vettel told the German magazine Sport Bild.

05/28/14
Would Vettel go to Ferrari with Newey and give up the Red Bull lemon?
(GMM)  Ferrari has not given up on wooing Adrian Newey to Maranello.

That is the claim of the authoritative Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, whose correspondent Luigi Perna outlined the latest plan to sign Red Bull's highly-coveted technical boss.

In Monaco, Red Bull rejected the speculation about Newey by insisting the 55-year-old remains committed for "the foreseeable future".

But that may have been before Ferrari's latest audacious offer to the Briton.

Perna said Ferrari is offering Newey unprecedented technical freedom, and also his own road-going supercar project and involvement in a possible Le Mans prototype bid.

Not to mention annual pay of about EUR 20 million.

"If the odds at first were zero, now the odds are 20-30 per cent," read the report.  "It all depends on Newey."

It has also been claimed that signing Newey might convince Red Bull's quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel to join him at Maranello.

But German Vettel said on Tuesday: "I feel very good about where I am and have so much to thank my team for.

"You don't just throw in the towel and look for something else after six bad races," he insisted.

Curiously, Vettel was at the wheel of Gerhard Berger's 1988 Ferrari on Tuesday for a promotional event at the forthcoming Austrian grand prix venue.

He got out of the car and said "Incredible!" -- the Italian version of incredible.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko grinned to reporters: "You can let our friends know quietly in Maranello that Sebastian even drives his Ferraris with us."

Newey moves to stop rumors he is leaving Red Bull
05/22/14
(GMM) Adrian Newey has played down reports he is thinking about a switch to Ferrari.

Two weeks ago in Barcelona, F1's most highly paid and rated engineer sounded equivocal amid rumors Ferrari is prepared to 'break the bank' to lure him from Red Bull.

But in a short statement ahead of the Monaco grand prix, Newey said: "I remain committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future."

World champion Sebastian Vettel was also asked about Newey on Wednesday, and while stressing that Red Bull wants him to stay, he also said the Milton-Keynes based team is not a one-man band.

"He is one of the key people in the team," said the German. "There are other people too.

"It is wrong to give the credit only to Adrian, as he would tell you himself.

"We like him in our team, so yes," added Vettel, when asked if he wants Newey to stay.

"It's a story in the end. How much truth there is in it, we may find out, we may not."

Fernando Alonso on Wednesday added fuel to speculation his patience with Ferrari is at an end.

Already the best paid in F1, the Spaniard was earlier this week also hailed as "perhaps the best driver" on the grid by the Mercedes-Benz chairman, Dieter Zetsche.

Alonso's reply, given to Spanish reporters in Monaco on Wednesday, will only fuel rumors the 32-year-old is pushing for a change of teams, having failed to win a title in red and arguably losing his 'number 1' status in 2014 following the arrival of world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

When asked about Zetsche's praise, Alonso answered: "I don't know.

"It is always something good when good things are spoken about you, and the truth is that I am grateful.

"But it is interesting and it really seems curious to me that these types of things, this sort of praise, always comes from the other teams, from other people not from my own inner circle," Alonso is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

The comment would seem to suggest a further souring in the relationship between Alonso and Ferrari.

Indeed, in Monaco, Alonso also denied that the arrival of new team boss Marco Mattiacci has so far had any impact on the struggling Maranello team.

And "I don't think it's going to happen soon," he told reporters.

"He's still learning about the team situation, the formula one environment, the F1 weekends," Alonso added.

"There is no change I feel in the qualifying, the races, the meetings, the work in the factory.  Everything is as it was before."

Given Ferrari's situation, and Alonso's five-year wait for a title-winning car, the signs are that he has lost patience with the Italian team.

05/11/14 Adrian Newey has refused to commit his future to Red Bull in the wake of a fresh approach from Ferrari.

It's understood that, bereft of a win in over a year, Ferrari have made a new offer to Red Bull's resident technical genius. Newey is widely considered to have been the critical ingredient in Red Bull's four successive title doubles having previously designed championship-winning cars for McLaren and Williams.

Newey has previously rejected overtures from Ferrari in favor of remaining in England, where his children are schooled, but it's reputed he has been invited to name his own price to join the Scuderia as F1's most famous marque plot a return to winning ways and quell Fernando Alonso's mounting dissatisfaction.

However, when asked by Sky Sports F1 prior to the Spanish GP whether he expected to see out his career at Red Bull, Newey coyly replied: "I don't know. I need to think about it. We're in the middle of the season and I'm just getting on with it."

In a separate interview with Sky F1 after the race, won by Lewis Hamilton ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Newey maintained that ambiguous stance, declaring:

"At some point I am going to have to think about the future, but at the moment my focus is getting in front of the silver cars," he said.

Although Newey remains under contract at Red Bull, it is unclear how long is left on the Englishman's current deal. Pressed for details on Newey's contract, Red Bull chief Christian Horner likened the question to "asking a lady about her age".

Horner himself has previously been linked with Ferrari and says he is confident that Newey will opt to remain with the Milton Keynes outfit.

"A lot of approaches are made to our staff, but he enjoys the environment at Red Bull and he has always said he would like to finish his career at Red Bull. The team have a great relationship with Adrian," Horner said.

"For sure, the lure of Ferrari is always there, but there's the politics and the pressure that goes with it and the fact is in Italy. Lots of us have been linked with Red Bull but so far none of us have gone."

Yet. SkySports.com

05/11/14 (GMM)  Mercedes has closed the door on Fernando Alonso.

Swirling rumors in the Barcelona paddock suggested the increasingly-frustrated Spaniard may have looked into whether there could be a place open at the dominant Brackley team for 2015..

That interest would be despite Alonso's ongoing Ferrari contract, and also the fact that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are similarly fastened to Mercedes beyond this year.

And Niki Lauda, Mercedes' outspoken chairman, promptly dismissed the speculation as "bullsh*t", according to the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.

Team boss Toto Wolff added: "We think long-term -- we are not interested in one night stands."

The door to silver pastures would seem to be firmly shut to Alonso.

Not only that, the Spaniard - earlier with the easy upper-hand on new Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen - has been soundly outpaced by the Finn at home in Spain this weekend.

Europa Press quoted Alonso as saying: "I'm more worried about the 1.8 second gap to Mercedes."

Raikkonen, too, was not celebrating his Saturday triumph.

"It gives me no satisfaction to be ahead of him (Alonso)," he said.  "What I want is to be fighting for the top positions.

"Of course it's nicer to be in front of him than behind, but whether you're sixth or seventh doesn't make much difference," Raikkonen added.

05/10/14 (GMM)  Ferrari is a hotbed of rumors at the scene of the Spanish grand prix.

The first rumor was that Ross Brawn, the team's ultra-successful technical director during the Michael Schumacher years, could be on the way back to Maranello full-time following a recent visit during his retirement.

But Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari team president who is stepping up his presence in the wake of boss Stefano Domenicali's exit, shook his head disapprovingly when asked on Friday about the Brawn speculation.

"I am sure (Marco) Mattiacci will do a good job, even though he has just arrived," said the Italian, referring to Domenicali's inexperienced successor.

"But I don't believe in a one-man show."

Indeed, Montezemolo did little to quell the Brawn rumors when he suggested that Mattiacci was only selected to replace Domenicali because "there was no other alternatives".

"To be honest I didn't have time to think of anybody else as I didn't want to leave an open position," he said in Barcelona.

The Brawn rumor is not the only one swirling around the Circuit de Catalunya.

France's L'Equipe reports that Fernando Alonso is looking for a way out of his 2016 Ferrari contract in order to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

The publication cited "Spanish sources", but it may also have been fuelled by Toto Wolff's recent description of Alonso as a 2014 title contender and "race monster".

"Absolute nonsense!" Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda rapidly fired when asked about the Alonso connection.

"Both of our drivers, Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis, have long-term contracts and we will hold to them.  We see no reason to replace either of our drivers," he is quoted by Sport Bild.

Montezemolo, however, at least acknowledged that Alonso is currently frustrated.

"When we give him a very competitive car again, he will be extremely happy," he said.

"My problem is not my drivers, it is making the team competitive again," Spain's El Mundo quotes Montezemolo as saying.

The third Ferrari rumor, meanwhile, is linking Red Bull's technical boss Adrian Newey - the highest paid and most highly rated engineer in F1 - with Maranello.

The rumor has been repeated by numerous Italian sources including La Repubblica, but also the respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, Michael Schmidt.

"Newey is said to have received an offer," Schmidt said.  "It would not be the first."



11/04/14
Alonso is McLaren bound
(GMM)  After a frantic period of mystery and speculation, the course of Fernando Alonso's future is now beginning to clear.

Multiple authoritative sources are reporting that the Spaniard is definitely headed to McLaren-Honda, on an initial two-year deal to be Danish youngster Kevin Magnussen's teammate.

"Could be," team boss Eric Boullier told Spain's Antena 3 when asked about Alonso's future in connection with McLaren, where he drove with Mercedes power in 2007.

"He is one of the drivers we have spoken to," the Frenchman admitted.  "He is one of the options. zzzz

"I hope that we have decided before Abu Dhabi, I want it to be done by then, but until now we have not decided."

If the Alonso reports are true, the news is expected to end Jenson Button's F1 career, amid suggestions he could be headed to Le Mans with Porsche.

Boullier continued: "One of the reasons it is taking us so long is that we have to make the right decision with someone who fits the team's strategy for the coming years.

"I apologize to the fans, but it is something very important.  Undoubtedly the most important decision in a long time."

F1 legend Emerson Fittipaldi, a former champion for McLaren, thinks Alonso and the British team are the right fit for 2015.

"Honda will want to return with guarantees," he told Spain's Marca, "and Fernando is one of the best drivers to develop a new project.  I think it can be very successful."

The Swiss newspaper Blick believes Alonso and McLaren actually agreed terms a few weeks ago in Russia, but for now the news remains unofficial.

"It looks like he is going there (to McLaren)," said another F1 legend, Mario Andretti, "but it's not clear.

"I spoke (in Austin) with Ron Dennis about it but he quickly changed the subject," Andretti smiled to Spain's AS sports daily.

Also waiting is Ferrari, but the Italian team undoubtedly has its announcement of Sebastian Vettel's impending arrival all ready to publish.

Boullier, meanwhile, dismissed speculation Honda will make its return to F1 next year only after a troubled period of development.

"It is curious that all the rumors about the engine being wrong or not being on time are coming from Italy," he said.

"Don't worry.  We will be ready."

10/31/14 As reported by AR1.com that an announcement is likely this weekend, McLaren-Honda have a contract on the table for next season and all that is missing is Fernando Alonso's signature. The two parties have reached an agreement and the British team is so keen that it is willing to wait for as long as it takes for the Spaniard to see out his other options.

The two-time world champion has decided to take his time sorting out his future, both in terms of leaving Ferrari and selecting the destination which is in his best interests to tackle the final phase of his Formula 1 career.

Alonso wants to wait and see how the duel turns out between Hamilton and Rosberg and how Mercedes end up. He is clinging onto the slightest possibility of moving to the championship-winning team. And McLaren are willing to accept that, according to sources from the English team.

The financial agreement was simple enough and never posed any problems. The duration of the contract is not yet known, beyond the initial reluctance to give him just a single season before making a swift exit from the team.

The only demand being made by the men who in all probability will become his new bosses is that he is sure of his decision, however long that takes, and when he takes it, that he gets to work with the same commitment which he has shown at Ferrari over the past five seasons. Marca.com

10/29/14 As AR1.com reported earlier today, Italy's specialist La Gazzetta dello Sport has now declared that new Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne will travel to Austin this weekend for a double announcement -- Alonso's exit and the arrival of Sebastian Vettel.

10/29/14 According to AR1.com sources, McLaren will announce Alonso is driving for them next year prior to this weekend's USP in Austin. You read it here first.

10/22/14
Romain Grosjean smiling at the prospect of driving a Mercedes-powered car in 2015.
This article from Autosport says Romain Grosjean is likely to be back with Lotus in 2015. The Enstone-based team of course already has Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado on the books for next year, and seem likely to retain the Frenchman. Lotus recently announced they will run Mercedes power units, which have dominated the 2014 season, next year.

This is also further evidence that Fernando Alonso, who won the 2005and 2006 World Championships with the forerunner of Lotus, Renault, is off to McLaren. Of course, Alonso going to McLaren will leave a vacancy at Ferrari, which is expected to be filled by Sebastian Vettel.

For more on the Alonso to McLaren saga, see Brian Carroccio's article from last week.

AR1 Staff

10/15/14 This rumor, which AR1.com first revealed way back on May 10th, is now about to become 'fact' with the news that Alonso is leaving Ferrari, to be replaced by Sebastian Vettel making a reported $80 million per year, and Alonso almost definitely going to McLaren with Honda power.

10/04/14 Contrary to the majority of the rumors placing Alonso at McLaren and Vettel at Ferrari, our sources tell us it is still up in the air and we could see Vettel to McLaren and Alonso to sit out a year or drive a third Mercedes if the rules allow it.

10/03/14 With today's announcement that Vettel is leaving Red Bull, we are upgrading this rumor to 'strong' as it appear likely he is indeed headed to Ferrari while Alonso moves from Ferrari to McLaren.

10/03/14
No Ferrari for Alonso in 2015?
(GMM)  Not many well-informed insiders in the Suzuka paddock still believe Fernando Alonso will be a Ferrari driver in 2015.

In fact, the growing consensus is that the Spaniard's contract termination will be made public after the Japanese grand prix weekend.

It appears that the most likely destinations for Alonso are either McLaren or Red Bull.

Eric Boullier thinks the Woking team's looming works Honda status makes McLaren the obvious favorite.

"I think we are for many reasons," he told Britain's Sky at Suzuka.

"We will be one of three works teams on the grid next season with our new engine partner and that will be a game changer," said the Frenchman.

Perhaps bolstering McLaren's chances of securing Alonso was the news on Friday that the team is preparing an interim test car to run the Honda V6 even before the official start of the test season next February.

"McLaren and Honda (are working) together to design and create an experimental test vehicle to check the power unit system," confirmed Honda's Yasuhisa Arai.

The next question will be the identity of Alonso's successor at Ferrari.

Jules Bianchi is putting his hand up for the job, but also linked with the seat is the increasingly disgruntled Red Bull driver and reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Germany's Auto Bild claims relations between Red Bull and the German have "cooled considerably" in the last few weeks, as the team looks to the future with the likes of Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko told SID news agency: "No comment."

Vettel also said the rumors are "not true".

Will Vettel be wearing red in 2015?
10/02/14
(GMM)  After two weeks of intense speculation, Fernando Alonso on Thursday had to admit his future at Ferrari is currently unclear.

"I don't live on Mars," said the Spaniard at Suzuka, when asked by swarms of reporters if he was up to date with what has been happening in the press since Singapore.

Alonso can no longer deny that his frustration at Ferrari, and perhaps also the Maranello team's frustration with his flagging commitment, could lead him elsewhere in formula one.

Asked directly ahead of the Japanese grand prix to categorically rule out a move to a rival team like McLaren-Honda or Red Bull for 2014, he said: "That is a difficult question.

"I say only that I will do what is in the best interest of Ferrari," he is quoted by Speed Week.

"Ferrari is a big name, a big brand, bigger than any of us.  I will always act in the interest of the team," Alonso repeated.

But the rumors suggest otherwise: that, as probably the best driver in F1 today, the 33-year-old has finally tired of waiting for a title-winning Ferrari.

Alonso acknowledged: "Only if you win titles will the people keep thinking you are the best.  Of course I want to win more.

"I feel good, I'm fit.  This is the best phase of my career.

"Nothing has changed in the two weeks since Singapore.  There are some options on the table," he revealed.

One reporter pointed out that Alonso could easily stop or at least quieten the rumors by declaring plainly 'I am definitely staying at Ferrari'.

Alonso replied: "The bottom line is that you always have an idea of what you want to do.  And I do.

"I am happy that I have a choice in formula one.  Every driver cannot say that.  I consider myself lucky that I myself can decide about my future."

The team most linked with Alonso's services in 2015 has been McLaren, with Honda open to paying lucratively for F1's biggest name.

But surely Alonso cannot imagine reuniting with Ron Dennis, after the ill-fated events at McLaren in 2007?

"I had no war with anyone there," Alonso insisted.  "But I am with Ferrari, I drive for Ferrari and it would not be very respectful to talk about other teams."

If Alonso does go, Ferrari will be keen to replace him with another great champion.  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is a rumored candidate.

Italy's Autosprint reports on Thursday that a race engineer who once worked closely with Vettel at Toro Rosso - Riccardo Adami - is preparing to move from Faenza to Ferrari for 2015.

"A coincidence, or a clue?" read the report.

09/25/14 (GMM) Fernando Alonso is the man on everybody's lips this week in the world of formula one.

Musing the recent departure from the great but currently-troubled Ferrari of its long-term president Luca di Montezemolo, former F1 driver and champion Mika Hakkinen said: "Nothing is forever.

"Definitely it will not be the only change at Ferrari. There are many rumors," he said in his latest interview with sponsor Hermes.

All of the current rumors are about Spaniard Alonso, arguably the best and most coveted driver in F1 today who appears to have finally lost his patience with the Maranello team.

But according to the latest twist of rumors, it may be an entirely mutual divorce between the double world champion and the fabled Maranello marque.

The Spanish sports newspaper Marca claims there is a faction at Ferrari that wants to get "rid" of the 33-year-old so that it can rebuild for the future in peace over the next few years.

Indeed, Alonso's exit might at least end the current tumult in the rumor stakes.

But for now, the authoritative La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton may be one of Ferrari's options to succeed Alonso, while Italy's Tuttosport claims reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel may even have signed a preliminary contract.

The German has already played down those latest reports.

"I've already said on numerous occasions that I've got a contract with Red Bull for next year and I'm working on the principle that I will still be driving for them," Vettel told the German magazine Sport Bild.

05/28/14
Would Vettel go to Ferrari with Newey and give up the Red Bull lemon?
(GMM)  Ferrari has not given up on wooing Adrian Newey to Maranello.

That is the claim of the authoritative Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, whose correspondent Luigi Perna outlined the latest plan to sign Red Bull's highly-coveted technical boss.

In Monaco, Red Bull rejected the speculation about Newey by insisting the 55-year-old remains committed for "the foreseeable future".

But that may have been before Ferrari's latest audacious offer to the Briton.

Perna said Ferrari is offering Newey unprecedented technical freedom, and also his own road-going supercar project and involvement in a possible Le Mans prototype bid.

Not to mention annual pay of about EUR 20 million.

"If the odds at first were zero, now the odds are 20-30 per cent," read the report.  "It all depends on Newey."

It has also been claimed that signing Newey might convince Red Bull's quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel to join him at Maranello.

But German Vettel said on Tuesday: "I feel very good about where I am and have so much to thank my team for.

"You don't just throw in the towel and look for something else after six bad races," he insisted.

Curiously, Vettel was at the wheel of Gerhard Berger's 1988 Ferrari on Tuesday for a promotional event at the forthcoming Austrian grand prix venue.

He got out of the car and said "Incredible!" -- the Italian version of incredible.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko grinned to reporters: "You can let our friends know quietly in Maranello that Sebastian even drives his Ferraris with us."

Newey moves to stop rumors he is leaving Red Bull
05/22/14
(GMM) Adrian Newey has played down reports he is thinking about a switch to Ferrari.

Two weeks ago in Barcelona, F1's most highly paid and rated engineer sounded equivocal amid rumors Ferrari is prepared to 'break the bank' to lure him from Red Bull.

But in a short statement ahead of the Monaco grand prix, Newey said: "I remain committed to Red Bull for the foreseeable future."

World champion Sebastian Vettel was also asked about Newey on Wednesday, and while stressing that Red Bull wants him to stay, he also said the Milton-Keynes based team is not a one-man band.

"He is one of the key people in the team," said the German. "There are other people too.

"It is wrong to give the credit only to Adrian, as he would tell you himself.

"We like him in our team, so yes," added Vettel, when asked if he wants Newey to stay.

"It's a story in the end. How much truth there is in it, we may find out, we may not."

Fernando Alonso on Wednesday added fuel to speculation his patience with Ferrari is at an end.

Already the best paid in F1, the Spaniard was earlier this week also hailed as "perhaps the best driver" on the grid by the Mercedes-Benz chairman, Dieter Zetsche.

Alonso's reply, given to Spanish reporters in Monaco on Wednesday, will only fuel rumors the 32-year-old is pushing for a change of teams, having failed to win a title in red and arguably losing his 'number 1' status in 2014 following the arrival of world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

When asked about Zetsche's praise, Alonso answered: "I don't know.

"It is always something good when good things are spoken about you, and the truth is that I am grateful.

"But it is interesting and it really seems curious to me that these types of things, this sort of praise, always comes from the other teams, from other people not from my own inner circle," Alonso is quoted by the Spanish sports newspaper AS.

The comment would seem to suggest a further souring in the relationship between Alonso and Ferrari.

Indeed, in Monaco, Alonso also denied that the arrival of new team boss Marco Mattiacci has so far had any impact on the struggling Maranello team.

And "I don't think it's going to happen soon," he told reporters.

"He's still learning about the team situation, the formula one environment, the F1 weekends," Alonso added.

"There is no change I feel in the qualifying, the races, the meetings, the work in the factory.  Everything is as it was before."

Given Ferrari's situation, and Alonso's five-year wait for a title-winning car, the signs are that he has lost patience with the Italian team.

05/11/14 Adrian Newey has refused to commit his future to Red Bull in the wake of a fresh approach from Ferrari.

It's understood that, bereft of a win in over a year, Ferrari have made a new offer to Red Bull's resident technical genius. Newey is widely considered to have been the critical ingredient in Red Bull's four successive title doubles having previously designed championship-winning cars for McLaren and Williams.

Newey has previously rejected overtures from Ferrari in favor of remaining in England, where his children are schooled, but it's reputed he has been invited to name his own price to join the Scuderia as F1's most famous marque plot a return to winning ways and quell Fernando Alonso's mounting dissatisfaction.

However, when asked by Sky Sports F1 prior to the Spanish GP whether he expected to see out his career at Red Bull, Newey coyly replied: "I don't know. I need to think about it. We're in the middle of the season and I'm just getting on with it."

In a separate interview with Sky F1 after the race, won by Lewis Hamilton ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, Newey maintained that ambiguous stance, declaring:

"At some point I am going to have to think about the future, but at the moment my focus is getting in front of the silver cars," he said.

Although Newey remains under contract at Red Bull, it is unclear how long is left on the Englishman's current deal. Pressed for details on Newey's contract, Red Bull chief Christian Horner likened the question to "asking a lady about her age".

Horner himself has previously been linked with Ferrari and says he is confident that Newey will opt to remain with the Milton Keynes outfit.

"A lot of approaches are made to our staff, but he enjoys the environment at Red Bull and he has always said he would like to finish his career at Red Bull. The team have a great relationship with Adrian," Horner said.

"For sure, the lure of Ferrari is always there, but there's the politics and the pressure that goes with it and the fact is in Italy. Lots of us have been linked with Red Bull but so far none of us have gone."

Yet. SkySports.com

05/11/14 (GMM)  Mercedes has closed the door on Fernando Alonso.

Swirling rumors in the Barcelona paddock suggested the increasingly-frustrated Spaniard may have looked into whether there could be a place open at the dominant Brackley team for 2015..

That interest would be despite Alonso's ongoing Ferrari contract, and also the fact that Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton are similarly fastened to Mercedes beyond this year.

And Niki Lauda, Mercedes' outspoken chairman, promptly dismissed the speculation as "bullsh*t", according to the Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten.

Team boss Toto Wolff added: "We think long-term -- we are not interested in one night stands."

The door to silver pastures would seem to be firmly shut to Alonso.

Not only that, the Spaniard - earlier with the easy upper-hand on new Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen - has been soundly outpaced by the Finn at home in Spain this weekend.

Europa Press quoted Alonso as saying: "I'm more worried about the 1.8 second gap to Mercedes."

Raikkonen, too, was not celebrating his Saturday triumph.

"It gives me no satisfaction to be ahead of him (Alonso)," he said.  "What I want is to be fighting for the top positions.

"Of course it's nicer to be in front of him than behind, but whether you're sixth or seventh doesn't make much difference," Raikkonen added.

05/10/14 (GMM)  Ferrari is a hotbed of rumors at the scene of the Spanish grand prix.

The first rumor was that Ross Brawn, the team's ultra-successful technical director during the Michael Schumacher years, could be on the way back to Maranello full-time following a recent visit during his retirement.

But Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari team president who is stepping up his presence in the wake of boss Stefano Domenicali's exit, shook his head disapprovingly when asked on Friday about the Brawn speculation.

"I am sure (Marco) Mattiacci will do a good job, even though he has just arrived," said the Italian, referring to Domenicali's inexperienced successor.

"But I don't believe in a one-man show."

Indeed, Montezemolo did little to quell the Brawn rumors when he suggested that Mattiacci was only selected to replace Domenicali because "there was no other alternatives".

"To be honest I didn't have time to think of anybody else as I didn't want to leave an open position," he said in Barcelona.

The Brawn rumor is not the only one swirling around the Circuit de Catalunya.

France's L'Equipe reports that Fernando Alonso is looking for a way out of his 2016 Ferrari contract in order to join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes next year.

The publication cited "Spanish sources", but it may also have been fuelled by Toto Wolff's recent description of Alonso as a 2014 title contender and "race monster".

"Absolute nonsense!" Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda rapidly fired when asked about the Alonso connection.

"Both of our drivers, Nico (Rosberg) and Lewis, have long-term contracts and we will hold to them.  We see no reason to replace either of our drivers," he is quoted by Sport Bild.

Montezemolo, however, at least acknowledged that Alonso is currently frustrated.

"When we give him a very competitive car again, he will be extremely happy," he said.

"My problem is not my drivers, it is making the team competitive again," Spain's El Mundo quotes Montezemolo as saying.

The third Ferrari rumor, meanwhile, is linking Red Bull's technical boss Adrian Newey - the highest paid and most highly rated engineer in F1 - with Maranello.

The rumor has been repeated by numerous Italian sources including La Repubblica, but also the respected correspondent for Auto Motor und Sport, Michael Schmidt.

"Newey is said to have received an offer," Schmidt said.  "It would not be the first."

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