Alonso to Ferrari

It was confirmed yesterday that two-time Formula One World Champion, Fernando Alonso, will be moving on up to the team with the prancing horse. This means that the driver line up for next season (and the one after that, and the one after that, etc) will be Alonso and Felipe Massa with Giancarlo Fisichella as the reserve and test driver. Kimi Raikkonen is expected to either move back to McLaren or to move on to the World Rally Championship. Regardless of what happens, Ferrari have to be pleased with the contributions that Kimi has made. Even if he isn’t the easiest driver to motivate, he won a driver’s title with them in his first season and helped them to also take home two constructor’s titles. That is no small feat in just three years – and with a car that was never the most competitive like Schumacher’s almost always was. The people that I want to keep a close watch on are the other drivers. Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton. We saw in 2007, when it was Hamilton and Alonso in the McLarens, that the team was too split over who to back for the title race, and that’s when Raikkonen swooped in and took the prize. Lewis has already said that he isn’t too happy about the new driver coming in. I’m not sure whether the reason he isn’t happy is that it’s a big time name and he knows that it might split the team or that his teammate now, Heikki Kovalainen, is no match for him. Either way, McLaren will be an interesting team to watch next season. As will Ferrari. If you watched the 2007 season at all, you might recall the race at the Nurburgring where, in the closing laps when it started to rain, Alonso made a move on Felipe and the two ended up clashing and bumping wheels and bargeboards together. Alonso came away from the race the winner and went so far as to show the camera the marks from Felipe’s Ferrari and gesture that it was innappropriate. Then, while the driver’s were weighing in, Felipe confronted Alonso and had some mighty disparaging words for him. In short, he called him the f-bomb in Italian a couple of times. Now that there will be a firy Spaniard and a passionate Brazilian in the stable next season, will we see more fireworks like that? I don’t really know, but I can say that there will be a lot of intrigue going into next season. And that is a good thing.

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