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DATE News (chronologically)
12/04/07
f1
Alonso to drive for Honda team?  UPDATE #2 (GMM)  A new report has contradicted Honda's claim that Fernando Alonso did not recently visit the team's headquarters.

Sport Bild last week said the Spaniard, who is yet to outline his plans for the 2008 season after splitting with McLaren, spent an entire day at Brackley.

But a Honda spokeswoman rapidly ended the speculation by insisting that Alonso, 26, "has not visited our factory, and Honda Racing confirmed their drivers for the 2008 season back in July".

Auto Motor und Sport, however, is now echoing Sport Bild's assertion that the Spaniard met with Honda officials last week.

The German specialist magazine said Alonso's visit was preceded by contact between Honda and his manager Luis Garcia Abad, before Alonso went to Brackley to "enquire about the team's long term plans".

Honda's new boss Ross Brawn interestingly said this week that Rubens Barrichello has "one year remaining of his contract".

Fernando Alonso

The latest rumors suggest that Alonso is struggling to find accommodation on the 2008 grid because he is strictly on the market only for a one-year deal.

David Coulthard endorsed the speculation on Monday by suggesting that not racing in 2008 would not be a problem for Alonso.

"Prost was the last guy to do that, and he came back and won the world championship," the Scot mused.

Auto Motor und Sport on Tuesday quotes Brawn as saying: "We cannot offer a winning car to anybody in the next year.

"A driver like Alonso would strengthen any team, but he wants to win.  In 2008 we will have highs and lows, which is completely normal for a consolidation phase.

"For what we want to achieve next year, with Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello we have the best drivers you could possibly want."

Auto Motor und Sport concludes that a cooperation between Honda and Alonso post-2008 cannot therefore be ruled out.

11/30/07 (GMM)  A spokeswoman for the Honda formula one team has denied reports linking Fernando Alonso with a switch in 2008.

It was claimed on Thursday that the Spaniard this week spent an entire day at the Japanese team's Brackley (UK) headquarters and even had a seat fitting.

Reports also indicated that Alonso, 26, was given a personal tour by Ross Brawn, while the new team boss also apparently accompanied Rubens Barrichello to Honda-powered Super Aguri's Leafield base to clear a seat for next year.

The Honda spokeswoman said: "Fernando has not visited our factory, and Honda Racing confirmed their drivers for the 2008 season back in July."

It is also believed that, while Brawn did call in on Super Aguri with another person in tow, Barrichello was not part of the visiting party.

11/29/07 (GMM)  Fernando Alonso spent an entire day at Honda's Brackley factory this week and even had a seat fitting, reports from Germany on Thursday said.

Sport Bild claims that the double world champion, who is still yet to commit to a team for 2008 after splitting with McLaren, is 'nearing an agreement' with the Japanese outfit that recently tabbed Ross Brawn as its new team boss.

It is reported that the first approach to Alonso about possibly joining Honda was made by F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, after the previously Nick Fry-led team embarrassingly netted a mere six points with its RA107 'earth car' this year.

Sport Bild said Alonso would take the place of Rubens Barrichello; the Brazilian veteran who would move to Honda's satellite team Super Aguri in 2008 as Takuma Sato's new teammate.

Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad on Thursday was not contactable.

Sport Bild observed: "With Brawn and Alonso, the fate of the Honda team would be secured".

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