Alonso-Ferrari rumours return

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Fernando Alonso is still being touted as a future Ferrari driver despite the Italian team having signed up Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa until the end of 2010.

Spanish Banco Santander apparently wants to get back together with Spain’s F1 hero Fernando Alonso. Dieter Rencken in the Autosport Journal (sub. req.) explains how Alonso might yet elbow Raikkonen aside:

Would Santander be satisfied with the patently underperforming Kimi when it really craves Fernando as logo bearer? If rumours doing the rounds after Alonso’s sensational win in Singapore have any legs, Santander could see its wishes fulfilled sooner rather than later.

Allegedly the bank has offered to buy out the full balance of Raikkonen’s contract (two years at an estimated $50m per annum) and fund Alonso’s similar demands for the same period – in addition to its title sponsorship of the Italian team, and at least two race sponsorships.

According to the source the deal has already been done, and could be announced within weeks…

But Alan Henry writing for Autocar reckons Santander will stick with McLaren because of the PR value of Lewis Hamilton:

Abbey is to be entirely re-branded Santander over the next couple of years, as will be the recently-acquired Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley businesses.


You have to ask yourself the following question: if you were planning a renewed commercial assault on UK High Street business over the next couple of years, would you want it based around Felipe Massa? Kimi Raikkonen? Or Lewis Hamilton?

Where Santander choose to put their money could have a significant bearing on who gets some of F1’s most coveted drives in the future.

F1 2009 season
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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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34 comments on “Alonso-Ferrari rumours return”

  1. Banks are failing left and right and apparently they have the money to pay Kimi 100mil, Alonso a similar figure and still pay to host two races at Bernie’s Price?

    Seems like a steep price to pay.

  2. It’s heartening to see that in these times of financial worry, there are companies around with the correct priorities who are willing to make sound investments…

  3. Santander is not affected with the global crysis because they dont have subprimes. Santander’s Chairman, Emilio Botín, meet Alonso in Monza half an hour. Botín want to have Alonso in Ferrari if Santander sponsor Ferrari.

  4. @ shostak
    Neither did Dutch/Belgian bank Fortis, but they were taken over by the Dutch government/sold to a French bank nevertheless.

  5. Emilio Botín, as he says, only buy a bank which he knows very well. This is his policy. Spanish banks only give credit to people with solid guarantees.
    European banks have gone bankrupt while not a single Spanish bank is in that situation.

  6. Here’s an idea, go to renault Santander.

  7. He cant, because ING sponsor Renault. xD

  8. Please Santander, give your money to McLaren.

    I don’t want to see your ugly branding all over the Ferrari’s & I do not want that dodgy unibrowed fool driving one of them either.

    Kimi will do better next season and even if he doesn’t then buying out Vettel’s or Kubica’s contract for 2010 will be much cheaper & has the added advantage of them not being complete w*’~#%s !

  9. How long have Santander been wanting this? Is this what Kimi was mumbling about earlier in the year?

  10. With this horrible crisis wich is affecting too many people´s life it is a bad joke to speak about these sums of money. Noone has to believe a single word that this COULD be true.
    And do not forget, we all will pay the rubish that the banks have done.

  11. Could swear a read this couple months back

  12. I think there may be a slight chance this will actually happen. Just wait till Melbourne next year and you’ll see who’s driving the 1st or 2nd red car. Then and only then you will see if its the Spaniard or the Fin.

    I seriously don’t see why the drivers need to be paid millions a year. In my opinion they should all be paid the same per year something like £750,000. There is simply no need for $38,000,00 which Kimi is earning.

    Hopefully Alonso moves to Honda that Rubens or Jenson will move to Renault in a straight swap. There’s no point in losing a talented driver from it.

    If this rumours are true great for Alonso but unlucky for Raikkonen who will presumably be left without a drive for 2009 if Alonso gets his seat. Where would Raikkonen go? Renault, Honda or Toro Rosso ?

  13. Banco Santander and it’s UK subsidiary Abbey have both lost ground recently, Abbey is nearly half the value it was 12 months ago.. this has to hurt Santander.. if the banking & insurance sectors fall further a number of teams could suffer and then it’s just ferrari with their Abu Dhabi money and probably force india..!!
    Interesting showdown for 2010, a bio-diesel Tata engined team SsongYang romps home with just Max Mosley cheering from the deserted stands.. with Luca still whinging somewhere in the tumbleweed paddock.. and Fernando complaining that the cab he drives to the stadium isn’t good enough..

  14. If Santander is willing to shell out this amount of cash then they must be in pretty good shape, but I really don’t see why they would be so much better off with Fernando than Lewis as their leading man. Sure they are a Spanish outfit but also with global reach, and Lewis is just as good of a face as any to have on their branding.

    I really don’t have anything against Fernando, and sure he is a well-deserving double world champion, but I don’t think I will ever understand the endless compulsion so many people have with him. I hate to beat a dead horse on this post, but as of this week we are now in a climate where all of North America has no races next season, but Spain get two- both of which produce dull racing- and it’s all due to one nation suddenly discovering F1 because of his success. Dosen’t make much sense in my book…..

  15. if Kimi is without a Drive, there is no reason to watch. Hamilton, Alonso and Massa would be a pointless championship as none are interesting to watch race.

  16. AmericanTifosi
    9th October 2008, 22:08

    I’m mad at you already, Ferrari. Don’t hire Alonso please!!!

  17. mmm??…i could watch alonso in red ;)

  18. i think you want to put ferrari in trouble

    its not the time for this rumour

  19. Alonso could create havoc if Massa drives around him, if not in all the races but enough to rattle him into losing concentration. Interesting to see Massa’s reaction. He was considered a chump after 2 races in 2008, but came back very nicely in 08.

  20. If Santander is anything like S/African banks , meaning they can get away with charging anything they wish for bank charges , then it would indicate they have limitless funding , which would make above figures look about as significant as a pimple on an elephants backside.

  21. is santander out of global economy?

    a bad joke at a bad moment

  22. If Santander is anything like S/African banks , meaning they can get away with charging anything they wish for bank charges , then it would indicate they have limitless funding , which would make above figures look about as significant as a pimple on an elephants backside.

    Nope, they’re just like every other bank out there, apparently. Reuters is reporting this from European trading this morning, and it makes for some gloomy reading.

    At 3:13 a.m. EDT, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was down 8 percent at 847.8 points, after hitting its lowest level since July 2003. The index has fallen more than 22 percent so far this week, on track for its worst week on record.

    Battered banks led the decline, with Barclays off 15.6 percent, Santander down 9.8 percent and HSBC down 4.3 percent. Oil shares also tumbled, with BP and Royal Dutch Shell down 8 and 5.9 percent, respectively, as crude fell 4.6 percent.

    Let’s see… Shell supplies fuel to Ferrari, HSBC does trackside advertising, Santander is a HUGE McLaren (or possibly future Ferrari) sponsor, and of course, there’s Barclays… you know, the bank that ended up absorbing Lehmans F1 shares.


  23. Alejandro – Yep, but that was before Raikkonen signed up for another year.

    Ronnie – “I think you want to put Ferrari in trouble”, how does this rumour ‘put Ferrari in trouble’?

    Journeyer – It’s hard to think of many companies that wouldn’t be affected by the current crisis. Might have to do an update of this post soon: The worst–case scenario

  24. 2009 Alonso in TR
    2010 Alonso in TR
    2011 Alonso in Ferrari

    Hope kubica joins ferrari some day….. :-)

  25. More from

    The pages of Le Monde in Paris are rarely filled with Formula 1 stories, but an interview yesterday with banker Emilio Botin of Spain’s Santander served to confirm rumours that have been kicking around in F1 circles for some weeks.

    “On the F1 scene,” the article said, “his business sponsors the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso and, soon, the red cars of Scuderia Ferrari.”

  26. Well, spanish banks do not work the same way as the british, and is very very unlucky of a spanish bank to go bankcrupt (at least not as luckyly as a british one) and Santander is gaining a lot thanks to bank/credit crisis in UK, buying other banks.
    Any more info, just find out by yourself before you comment on it!!!

    If Santander can afford it, it defenitely can, and it will bust this banks popularity as well

  27. So close to 200 million dollars are being spent on 2 drivers; who have won 3 races together over the entire year.

    Santander are looking to pull off another Lehmann Bros. it seems..

  28. @ sumedh
    Yes they have only won three races between them this year, but Alonso is in a Renault and Raikkonen is in a ferrari. Spot the difference?

    The Ferrari this year has been good the same as the McLaren, The Renault has been crap to put it bluntly. So that is why Alonso has only won 1 race.

  29. Kimi should have at least 2 more wins.

  30. i think that it would be sad for Kimi to leave. Kimi gave Ferrari a championship win last year so practically that was all for nothing if they are going to kick Kimi out I definently won’t be watching if Kimi leaves Formula 1

  31. Probably not very likely anymore after the Madoff wall street swindel…

    “Santander Clients Have $3.1 Billion With Madoff”

  32. Marcus – Ouch!

  33. kimi and fernando is the perfect pairing for ferrari if this could be possible. massa could pair with hamilton. all this said, fernando could end up regretting not going to Red Bull for 2009! somewhere from the back of my mind tells me that red bull, bmw and ferrari will be fighting for this coming championship!!!!!!

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