The confirmation that Fernando Alonso is to leave Renault and move to Ferrari for the 2010 F1 season could be made as early as this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, according to reports – in a five-year agreement, with an option for a sixth, worth a reputed €25 per season.
Britain's Daily Telegraph
claims that talks are ongoing between the Scuderia
and Kimi Raikkonen's management team surrounding a deal that will release the Finn from his contract and allow Alonso to make his move to the Italian team.
Ferrari team chief Stefano Domenicali has already strongly hinted that the Spaniard would be on his way to Maranello, and said it was 'a possibility but not guaranteed' that the deal confirming the team's 2010 line-up could be announced prior to the race at Suzuka.
Alonso himself was giving nothing away over the course of the weekend in Singapore as he again refused to discuss his future, insisting only that he has 'taken the decision already' and everyone will know 'soon' where he will drive in 2010.
The Spaniard picked up his first podium of the season in Singapore, and while his post-race dedication of the result to former team boss Flavio Briatore is unlikely to have gone down well with Renault, the French marque's managing director Jean Francois Caubert paid tribute to his driver in a speech which sounded very much like a farewell.
“Alonso is a great champion,” he told French TV after the race. “He clocked the fastest lap in the race, he made the most of the strategy and he fought until the end.
“I think Renault will always be Fernando's family. We will miss him, but he will miss us too."
Alonso's move to Ferrari is set to kick-start the driver market for the 2010 season, with Raikkonen expected to return to McLaren to partner Lewis Hamilton, and Robert Kubica tipped to fill Alonso's position at Renault.