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GP Week : Issue 32
Alonso rumours continue as BMW confirms 09 line-up BMW Sauber’s confirmation of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld for the 2009 season came as little shock in the days running up to the Japanese Grand Prix, but has served to limit the potential destinations for Fernando Alonso. With only Honda, Toro Rosso, Force India and his current Renault team yet to confirm their line-ups, Alonso himself is believed to be ready to make an announcement after the Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of the month. With Honda failing to confirm their 2009 line-up at its home race, as is the traditional norm, it is being assumed that negotiations with Alonso are further down the line than many had believed. Although most expect Jenson Button to be retained by Honda next season, not even the Briton himself could guarantee he would hold onto his seat. When asked if he was confirmed for 2009, he simply answered “No.” Above the denial however he seemed unconcerned over his future, suggesting that he may already have a confirmation in his pocket and is on media silence until his team-mate is confirmed. “We are not in a rush, it is fine,” he said. “But a lot changing next year which makes it very exciting. Ross [Brawn] is very good at new regulations and I am looking forward to it, driving with slick tyres and new aero spec and obviously the KERS. There is a lot to play with there and a lot for us to get right.” With a move to Toro Rosso thought to be unlikely for Alonso, it is GP2 runner-up Bruno Senna whose name has emerged as the favourite to drive for Honda in 2009 should the Spaniard opt to stick with Renault. Current Honda driver Rubens Barrichello was concerned enough by the threat of being replaced by his younger countryman that he publically warned Senna against joining Honda as the team was in a period of regeneration. Senna’s other potential destination is Toro Rosso, and his name is thought to be high