Santander Meet Ferrari for Potential F1 Deal

Ferrari seems one step closer to closing a much-expected deal with Spanish bank Grupo Santander. As reported by us several months ago, the Spanish giant is considering a sponsoring switch from McLaren Mercedes to Ferrari from as early as next year.

Those speculations were refueled last weekend, after Santander boss Emilio Botin met with Ferrari's CEO Luca di Montezemolo before the Bahrain Grand Prix. As expected, no information on the meeting were disclosed, but one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out. It's also worth mentioning that Botin met with Fernando Alonso as well during his short visit at Sakhir.

Grupo Santander teamed up with McLaren Mercedes back when Alonso was signed by the Woking based team 3 years ago. Nevertheless, since the relationship between the 2-time world champion and team McLaren didn't quite work out, the Spaniard left the team and returned to Renault.

While stuck with McLaren, it seems Santander has consistently looked for ways to resume their collaboration with countryman Alonso.

Of course, everyone's thinking “Why didn't Santander talk to Renault for an potential deal in 2011?” The reason is actually more of an answer to the obvious question “Did Alonso sign a deal with Ferrari for 2011?” It seems the Spaniard will, in the near future, wear the all-red racing suit for the Maranello team, as all signs point to the same direction.

Neither Alonso, nor Ferrari have denied allegations concerning the potential move. Rumor has it that, if Raikkonen fails to produce some impressive results in 2009, Alonso's debut for the prancing horse could happen a lot sooner. The Spaniard's deal with Renault runs out at the end of 2010, but Santander is presumably ready to step in and buy Alonso his one-year remaining of contract with the Enstone-based team, if necessary.
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