Speculation that double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso will end up in a Ferrari has intensified again following reports that he has inked a deal with the Scuderia for 2011.
Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
notes that the Spaniard has a four-year deal in place and that he could even join the Scuderia in 2010, should Kimi Raikkonen fail to perform next season.
While Alonso and Ferrari both apparently have get out-clauses, unsurprisingly no official comment has been made by the Maranello-based outfit itself.
Alonso's manager meanwhile in a separate story in the 'paper added that it is way to far ahead to consider what might happen beyond '09.
"That Fernando has always had an interest to drive for Ferrari is not a secret," he explained. "What can I say though? 2011 is far away.
"F1 is living in a time of great difficulty from an economic point of view and it is difficult to imagine future scenarios. It is too soon to speak about and I only know that in less than a month Renault will launch its new car."
Alonso was linked to Ferrari on and off throughout 2008, and while he has since re-signed with Renault for 2009 and 2010, the 'silly season' continues.
"I have decided to stay with the ING Renault F1 team because, as I have often repeated this season, they have always been my first choice and I feel very happy and comfortable with them," said the Spaniard back in November. "It's a very close-knit team with a competitive and winning mentality, and also a relaxed and warm attitude, which suits me perfectly.
"After a difficult start to the season, we have overcome our difficulties and constantly improved our performances. My back-to-back wins in Singapore and Japan, and my recent second place podium finish in Brazil, have proved how competitive we can be. In the past we have won championships together, as well as going through tough moments, but we are now determined to show that we can repeat that success together in the coming seasons."