Ferrari confirms three-year Alonso deal
|By Matt Beer||Wednesday, September 30th 2009, 14:22 GMT|
Ferrari has officially confirmed that Fernando Alonso will replace Kimi Raikkonen in its line-up from 2010, having completed a three-year deal.
The double world champion's move from Renault has been anticipated for many months, and will see him paired with Felipe Massa in the Italian squad's race team.
"We are very proud to welcome to our team another winning driver, who has demonstrated his amazing talent by winning two world championships in his career to date," said Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.
Alonso's arrival is likely to see Raikkonen returning to his former team McLaren alongside Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn delivered the world championship for Ferrari in his first season with the team in 2007, but his results have declined since and he will leave the squad a year before his contract had been set to expire.
"Of course, we wish to thank Kimi for everything he has done during his time with Ferrari," said Domenicali. "In his first year with us, he managed to win the drivers' title, thus making his contribution to Ferrari's history and he played a vital role in our taking of the constructors' title in 2007 and 2008.
"Even during a difficult season like this one, he has demonstrated his great talent, with several good results, including a great win in Spa and we are sure that we can share more good times together in the final three races of this season."
Raikkonen underlined that his departure from Ferrari had been by mutual consent.
"With common consent, we have agreed to terminate the contract binding me to Ferrari to the end of 2010, one year ahead of schedule," he said.
"I am very sad to be leaving a team with which I have spent three fantastic years, during which time I won plenty of races.
"Together, we have won 50 per cent of the world titles in that period and I managed to take the drivers' title in 2007, thus achieving the target I had set myself at the start of my career. I have always felt at home with everyone here and I will have many happy memories of my time with the team."
Alonso's confirmation at Ferrari is likely to trigger a series of 2010 driver announcements over the coming days, with the Spaniard's move long tipped as the decision that would allow the rest of the 'silly season' jigsaw to fall into place.