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The F1 jigsaw

NEWS STORY
28/11/2007

Although both Ferrari drivers have contracts for the next two years, Fernando Alonso still appears to be entirely focussed on joining the Maranello outfit in 2009. Consequently, he is seeking a berth for 2008, and 2008 only.

While this situation might suit the Spaniard, there are few teams - certainly at the right end of the grid - willing to be used in this manner.

Of course, Alonso, could follow the example of Alain Prost and take a year out, but that would hardly fit in with Bernie Ecclestone's plans, having gone to all the trouble of giving Spain two rounds of the World Championship next season.

In recent days, Red Bull drivers David Coulthard and Mark Webber have both gone public, claiming that they don't feel their drives are under threat from the Spaniard, and now team owner Dietrich Mateschitz has added his two-penn'orth.

"From what I'm hearing, (Alonso) is only negotiating with other teams for a one-year deal," the Austrian told Motorsport Aktuell. "A deal like that would be out of the question for us.

"We would rather wait another year and show that we are capable of building a car for 2009 that would be worthy of attracting one of the best Grand Prix drivers," he added.

Though Mateschitz refused to say whether his team has held talks with Alonso, Pitpass sources still claim that the Milton Keynes based outfit - which continues to seek out some of the best talent in the paddock - offered the Spaniard a five-year deal, which was rejected. With the two-time World Champion having rejected a three-year deal with Renault it remains to be seen where he will find employment for 2008.

That, and the choice of who will partner Lewis Hamilton at McLaren, remain the two major pieces of the 2008 F1 jigsaw.

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