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GP Week : Issue 159
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso has nothing to fear from his rivals in the paddock, and would welcome any of them as a future teammate in Maranello, he revealed this weekend. Asked whether he was consulted on the drivers he’d be paired up with, the Spanish driver gave a surprising answer. “In the past, never,” Alonso said. “Now at Ferrari, yes. I’m in Italy every week so when we are there, sometimes I see the president [Luca di Montezemolo], I see Stefano [Domenicali] and we talk about development of the car, we talk about GT, now there is some work on a new GT car that they are doing some test with at the end of year. “We talk about the future of Formula One, about Corsa Clienti which is owners of old Formula One cars which they want us to take to some circuits to teach some senior drivers, and also about the future and teammates as well.” But while the double world champion finds himself consulted by his employers in Maranello, Alonso harbours no illusions that his feedback has an impact on the team’s recruitment decisions. “I doubt [they make their decision based on my comments],” the Asturian revealed. “It’s an open chat, we talk, but in the end, it’s their decision.” Asked whether he would be prepared to team up with Lewis Hamilton again in future, the Ferrari driver said that it wouldn’t be a problem. Such is his confidence in his own abilities that Alonso would have no problem facing a challenge from any of the drivers in the F1 paddock. But there is no need for team-mate Felipe Massa to start updating his CV just yet, as Alonso spoke highly of the much-maligned Brazilian racer. “I have a lot of respect for Felipe,” Alonso said. “I think the challenging moment, that even from the outside it’s difficult to appreciate, what a challenging time he’s given to me in the last three years. He’s not bad, even if from the outside he looks...” Alonso was interrupted by further questioning before he was able to finish his sentence, but made sure to end his press briefing by asserting that Massa had the potential to keep his seat at Ferrari when his contract expires at the end of this season. FERNANDO HAS HIS PICK OF TEAM-MATES 3 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> NEWS