Will we find out at the Italian GP this weekend that Fernando Alonso is off to race for Ferrari next year? It would seem like the right place to do it. And we’ve already had a not-so-secret indication that he is…
Santander first moved to sponsor McLaren when Alonso drove for them. Because Alonso is a Spaniard, and Santander are a Spanish bank, the deal made sense.
Today Ferrari have announced that Santander are now going to be the Scuderia’s title sponsor from 2010 onwards, taking over from Marlboro.
Ferrari are happy, and Santander are happy too. But why? Could this new partnership be about to announce that yes, as we all suspected, Fernando is going to drive for Ferrari next year?
It would make sense.
What doesn’t make sense is all the crazy stuff coming to light around Renault’s Race-fix-gate scandal, thanks to Autosport digging around.
Alonso has denied any knowledge of the race-fix plan, and has said that whatever happens, it won’t affect his plans for next year.
Hmmmmm, how can he be so sure? Unless he knows he won’t be at Renault next year, maybe?
Anyway, the basic details are these: that Nelson Piquet Jnr and Snr gave information to the FIA saying that Renault asked Jnr to crash early on during the Singapore night race, to facilitate a win for teammate Fernando Alonso.
It’s alleged that the corner Nelson crashed on was chosen because there were no cranes there, so a Safety Car was pretty much guaranteed.
Renault bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds say that this scenario was discussed in a meeting before the race, but they dismissed it. And that it was actually Piquet’s idea…
Autosport is also saying that team members questioned Symond’s decision during the race to pitstop Alonso early, when he had enough fuel to go further into the race.
The FIA have apparently heard recordings of pitwall conversations relating to this, in which Symonds tells the team: ‘No, no, it’s going to be alright.’
Now, admittedly this is a lot to take in, but IF these allegations are true, and IF Renault are found guilty, imagine the size of the punishment.
McLaren were fined $100million for being in possession of some bits of paper they shouldn’t have had, and no one’s life was at risk.
What then, should happen to Renault?