With Fernando Alonso having sensationally severed ties with McLaren yesterday, his actions are already kick starting a scrum in the driver market as teams clamour for the double World Champion's signature.

Although there are precious few places on the grid - and even less that would be able to accommodate Alonso's likely aspirations and wage demands -, it seems some contracts could become null and void if the prospect of such a renowned talent became available.

That appears to be the thinking behind the rumours that now Red Bull Racing have joined the race to secure Alonso's signature, despite the fact David Coulthard and Mark Webber have been confirmed at the team for several months.

However, both the BBC and Reuters have hinted that the ambitious team could be set to change their plans in order to snare Alonso. Indeed, while Red Bull's time in Formula 1 has shown flashes of genius, they have yet to make a big impression. Nonetheless, their ambition is huge, with plenty of funds aiding their cause, as well as the technical know-how of Adrian Newey and savvy management of Christian Horner, a combination that is expected to pay dividends in 2008.

Another factor that could appeal to Alonso is also the rumour, according to Italiaracing.net, that Red Bull could also secure the services of Ross Brawn, should he return from his sabbatical from Ferrari.

What this would mean for Coulthard or Webber remains to be seen, but it is suggested that Coulthard could make a return to McLaren to make way for Alonso if need be in something of a straight swap.

Alternatively, Flavio Briatore-managed Webber could switch to another team - potentially McLaren - in order to allow Alonso into Red Bull for a season, before the Spaniard possibly returned to Renault in 2009.

For the moment, Alonso's future, more obviously, could be with Renault and Toyota, both manufacturer based teams and both with a spare seat.

Renault have signalled their desire to have their former star employee back in their team to turn their fortunes back around after a disappointing defence of their two titles. However, the French team could now have too many drivers to satisfy, with Nelson Piquet Jr. thought to be contracted to a drive somewhere in F1, while Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella have not firmed up their plans next year either.

As for Toyota, they at least have the money to satisfy Alonso, but their form in six seasons of F1 has been inconsistent to say the least. The team were expected to have confirmed Timo Glock in the by now though, suggesting that Toyota-powered Williams could be a potential berth for Alonso.

Whether or not they provide a car suitable of winning their first race since 2004 remains to be seen, but a potential partnership of him and Nico Rosberg would certainly be a tantalising one. Provided McLaren don't poach him first...

 

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