Alonso not bound for Ferrari ... yet
NUERBURGRING, Germany -- Fernando Alonso denied that he had any agreement in place to swap Renault for Ferrari, although the two-time world champion left the door open for a switch after this season.
Italian and Spanish media reports earlier on Thursday said Alonso had agreed to a two-year contract with Ferrari starting in 2011, although it could be brought forward to next season.
"They are only rumors. They have been happening in the last four or five years," Alonso said Thursday as he prepared for this weekend's German Grand Prix, before making it clear there had been no contact between the two sides.
Alonso suggested, however, that talks could happen in the future.
"We are in the beginning of July and normally after the summer it is time to talk with people -- if you are interested in something outside of your team," the Spaniard said. "Obviously I am very happy with Renault. Obviously everything is open, but there is no hurry at the moment."
Alonso finished 14th at last month's British Grand Prix -- the Renault driver's worst placing since he was 16th at the same race in his rookie season in 2001. Alonso believes the adversity of the past two seasons has made him a better driver.
"I am missing winning, there are no doubts," said the 27-year-old driver, who won titles with the French team in 2005 and '06. "I want to win and to have a performing car as soon as possible, but I also understand that this is sport and it happens everywhere, not only in motor racing."
Since an acrimonious year at McLaren in 2007, Alonso has spent a season and a half back at Renault in a car that has shown promise but not on a consistent basis, and certainly not this season.
"We saw with Michael [Schumacher], maybe the greatest driver ever, two world championships in Benetton and then five years in Ferrari waiting because this is not only the human part, it is also the team and the package," Alonso said. "So, I put myself in that part of my career, in standby, and I am preparing myself very strong physically and mentally."
The underachieving form of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who hasn't won since April 2008 -- a span of 22 races -- has also spurred on the reports.
"It's the same thing with every race. Nothing changes. I have a contract for next year," Raikkonen said. "For sure I'm going to carry on next year."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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