Ferrari has rubbished as mere 'speculation' the latest rumours that Fernando Alonso is to be unveiled as one of the Scuderia's
two drivers for 2010 and beyond on the Friday of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza – as it is revealed that the team's annual end-of-season spectacular is this year to be held in Spain.
Spanish newspaper Diario AS
has reported that the double F1 World Champion is to be announced as part of the Maranello-based outfit's challenge until at least 2014 on 11 September, though which of the two present incumbents – 2008 championship runner-up Felipe Massa and 2007 title-winner Kimi Raikkonen – would make way for the man from Oviedo remains unclear.
Whilst there has been considerable doubt over the Finn's commitment and long-term future in the sport – especially in the light of his recent forays into rallying, with the 29-year-old now set to make his World Rally Championship debut in Finland in a month's time during the mid-summer F1 break [see separate story – click here
] – both he and Massa remain under contract until the end of 2010.
It has also been claimed that Ferrari's traditional 'World Finals' will for the first time be held in Alonso's homeland, in Valencia in mid-November, where both the Asturian and new sponsor Santander will be officially welcomed into the fold. It is believed that the 21-time grand prix-winner will be the event's 'surprise guest'.
The widely-held view within the grand prix paddock is that Alonso will indeed be sporting scarlet overalls next year, and the man himself, currently struggling midfield in an uncompetitive Renault for the second consecutive campaign – much to his evident frustration – has done little to belie that. Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni, however, is adamant that the talk is just that – talk.
“We are not going to waste our time commenting on speculation,” he told Italian newspaper La Gazzzetta dello Sport
. “Everyone should remember that Massa and Raikkonen have contracts which include 2010.”