Speculation has run rampant regarding Fernando Alonso’s future with Ferrari, almost to the point where it’s completely out of control.
Depending where you look, Alonso is either begrudgingly staying at Ferrari, on the move to McLaren, Lotus or Red Bull or even taking off a year.
The Italian La Gazzetta dello Sport – a paper which has always been close to Alonso and Ferrari – has said in recent days that Alonso has told the team of his intentions to leave.
Meanwhile a further report from the German Bild has said that if billionaire Lawrence Stroll emerges as a potential of Lotus, rather than Sauber, that Alonso’s longtime manager Flavio Briatore could assist in a switch there. Such a return, however unlikely, would be his third stint at Enstone (2003-2006, 2008-2009).
A deeper analysis from Autosport reveals the situation is more complex, as Alonso and Ferrari are at the point where they need to reaffirm their commitment to each other or mutually go their separate ways.
The contract that has Alonso at Ferrari until 2016 appeared to be ironclad, although there were reports earlier this year that there was a performance-based out clause if Ferrari finished outside the top three in the Constructor’s Champonship.
Quite honestly it’s to the point where stories – such as this one – are needing to be written to apprise the public at large of what Alonso’s situation is, but only Alonso really knows where he’s going, and what he’s doing.
It provides a level of intrigue in not knowing where he’ll shift, but it also allows the rumor mill to spin wildly out of control.
Although this silly season has already seen the confirmation of Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso, Pastor Maldonado at Lotus again and Nico Rosberg confirming an extension with Mercedes, Alonso is still the domino that will affect potentially three different teams.
If he can move, you immediately have his new destination, his current squad and a third team that would be shifting their lineups around.
We can only wait and see.