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DATE News (chronologically)
01/14/08
f1
Alonso to replace Massa at Ferrari  UPDATE #6 (GMM)  Felipe Massa is still unperturbed by rumors that Fernando Alonso's future beyond 2008 could be with Ferrari.

Although the Brazilian inked a new deal with the Maranello based team last October to stay until the end of 2010, some still consider him more likely to be ousted in favor of Alonso than his current teammate and reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

In fact, Raikkonen - already under contract for 2008 and 2009 - told reporters at the Madonna di Campiglio media event last week that he could extend the deal "tomorrow" if he wanted.

But Massa, the lower paid of the pair and 16 points behind his Finnish teammate on the final 2007 standings, says the Alonso gossip does not bother him.

"I have not given any weight to anything that was said or wrote.  Zero," the 26-year-old told the Spanish daily newspaper Marca.

"When all the rumors about him (Alonso) coming to Ferrari were around, I had already signed," he added.

09/27/07 Kimi Raikkonen said: "It would interesting to race Fernando in the same car. But I don't think it is going to happen."

09/26/07 (GMM) Felipe Massa has denied speculation that he will vacate his Ferrari seat at the end of the year.

It has been rumored in recent days that Fernando Alonso is so advanced in talks with the Maranello based team about 2008 that he may already have agreed a $40 million per year deal.

The Spaniard's Ferrari teammate, according to the reports, would be Kimi Raikkonen, after Massa was spotted meeting with Toyota officials at Spa-Francorchamps two weeks ago.

"This story of me going to Toyota next year does not exist," Massa was quoted as saying by the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Tuesday before leaving his native Brazil for the weekend's Japanese grand prix.

Massa reportedly also told the Brazilian press that his Ferrari contract includes the 2008 season, and that he is already negotiating an extension for the year after.

09/24/07  According to the News of the World tabloid Fernando Alonso is Ferrari-bound, and has now agreed a £20 million a year deal to join Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari next year - leaving Massa out in the cold.

09/24/07 (GMM) Speculation is rife that Fernando Alonso could be about to drop a bomb on the formula one silly-season.

Felipe Massa was spotted by paddock observers meeting with Toyota officials at Spa-Francorchamps, sparking rumors that he might need to vacate his Ferrari seat for 2008.

The tale ties in with fresh speculation that Jean Todt - whose son Nicolas manages Brazilian Massa, 26 - is increasingly under pressure to keep his top job at Ferrari, and also Toyota's reluctance so far to confirm a teammate for Jarno Trulli in 2008.

It has long been suggested that reigning world champion Alonso's most likely destination, if he leaves McLaren after a single unhappy season, is his former camp at Renault.

But the Ferrari gossip, raising the prospect of the Spaniard's pairing with Kimi Raikkonen next year, is now gathering strength, including in the pages of the British newspaper The Daily Mail.

"One stumbling block exists, however," the report read. "Would Ferrari be willing to buy out the remainder of Alonso's contract with McLaren, believed to be worth at least (US) $20 million?" 

09/22/07 There have been suggestions in recent days that negotiations between Ferrari and McLaren have included the sale of Fernando Alonso's McLaren contract to Ferrari - in exchange for a sizeable sum of money. This would rid McLaren of the Alonso problem, provide funding to pay the $100M fine (and to acquire another driver) and give Ferrari a stronger driver line-up in the future.

09/20/07 There is no doubt that part of the negotiation going on at Spa last weekend was to find a way for Fernando Alonso to get out of his McLaren contract. Our spies suggest that while everyone seems to think that Fernando will wash up at Renault, it is much more likely that he will be popping up as Kimi Raikkonen's team-mate at Ferrari. The Italian team would obviously have to pay a considerable sum of money in order to achieve that goal but no doubt that money could be used by McLaren to find a replacement and perhaps even to pay its fine.

Alonso was busy doing the rounds in Spa and was spotted at Red Bull Racing, which can only be seen as a courtesy call, rather than something serious. At the same time the sharp-eyed observers will have seen Felipe Massa visiting Toyota.

We also hear that a group of Ferrari owners recently visited the factory in Italy and were told by a senior Ferrari man that there was a possibility that Alonso would drive for Ferrari next season and that the team was working on a deal. More at Grandprix.com [Editor's Note: Do not forget that now Renault are third in the manufacturers championship, because of McLaren’s exclusion. This will result in more money from the FOM and activate clauses in the ING contract with Renault to pay more.]

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