Ferrari woos Spanish rising star Alonso

Ferrari's courting of Formula 3000 star Fernando Alonso as a potential second test driver will not lead to a Prost Formula 1 drive for the young Spaniard, according to sources

Alonso has a testing contract with Minardi, and is still touted as a possible replacement for the still-to-be-confirmed Marc Gene in the Italian squad. But the 19-year-old, who finished third in last year's F3000 series, has admitted that Ferrari has also been in contact.

"The only certainty is that there have been contacts with Ferrari, just as other teams have called my manager and Minardi to ask for information about my contract," he said. "I have a contract with Minardi, so it is clear that if Ferrari wants me, they have to come to an agreement."

Should Alonso sign for the Prancing Horse, he would supplement existing tester Luca Badoer in next year's more condensed testing schedules.

Rumours that Alonso could be farmed out to the Prost F1 team to gain experience next year appear wide of the mark. The French team will use Ferrari customer V10s next year and accepting Alonso could in theory be used as a bargaining tool to offset some of the cost of the engines, but sources say Prost is still set to confirm pay driver Pedro Diniz to partner Jean Alesi in 2001.

Alonso, who ran with former Minardi sponsor Telefonica's backing in F3000 last year, has so far not actively pursued a 2001 F3000 seat.

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