Formula 1

Fernando Alonso's future an issue admits new Ferrari chairman

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In the story that never sleeps, incoming Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has admitted to issues regarding the future of Fernando Alonso at the team.

According to Italy's Omnicorse the Fiat CEO confirmed Alonso and Team Principal Marco Mattiacci had fallen out in Singapore and efforts were underway to deal with the problem.

"This issue is being dealt with by Mattiacci, and we will discuss it after October 13," he said revealing he himself will not become involved until he officially takes over from the outgoing Luca di Montezemolo.

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Mixed messages

While there was no reason given for why the two fell out, it is the latest twist in an ongoing saga in relation to Alonso's future.

The so-called 'silly season' has been primarily focused on the Spaniard, who is believed to be considering a move back to former team McLaren as the team begins a new era with soon-to-be engine supplier Honda.

On the contrary, however, in the build-up to the Singapore weekend, Alonso hit back at those reporting on the rumours claiming it was damaging the morale inside Ferrari in a moment that clearly highlighted the Spaniard's frustration at the current speculation and suggested he was in fact staying put.

McLaren signal?

In another twist, McLaren, who had previously not mentioned Alonso on its heritage page on their official website, suddenly added the 33-year-old claiming they had done so because of pressure from fans.

On his newly created page, which can be found here, McLaren claims: "When the history books are written, Alonso's name will be writ large as one of the sport's all-time greats."

Some have always been sceptical at the prospect of the double world champion rejoining the British team after the way he and CEO Ron Dennis fell out during his time there in 2007, however, his manager Flavio Briatore admits a return would not be impossible.

"At McLaren it was not a perfect combination," he was quoted by Germany's Auto Bild, "but you never know -- people can change."

Tough to call

As someone who follows the sport very closely it has become very difficult to know what to believe in regards to Alonso's future.

There is no doubt there is a lot of frustration as what was supposed to be his time following his move to Ferrari four years ago has been overshadowed by the rise and subsequent dominance Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull.

Yet it was one bad strategy call that cost him the championship in his first year with Ferrari in 2010 and he helped spearhead a recovery few thought imaginable in 2012 to take Vettel to a championship decider after a year of playing catch up.

Final straw?

The disappointment of 2014 was perhaps the biggest thing that has really sparked Alonso's apparent consideration over his future.

This was supposed to be a year when the change in engine formula and the new regulations were meant to benefit the more mechanically-minded Ferrari over the more aerodynamically-dependent Red Bull.

For sure the influence on aerodynamics has been greater than perhaps imagined given Red Bull's position for much of the year despite having the worst power unit, but it was Ferrari's failure to be stronger on the engine side particularly compared to the Mercedes that was most surprising.

Key question

With that disappointment, Alonso is now in the position of questioning if he can succeed with Ferrari, after all that was always the reason for being there.

If the answer is no then comes the thought of whether there is a seat available elsewhere that can offer him a greater chance of success.

In McLaren he has that choice, but answering that second question is the most crucial to Alonso making a final decision and is also why, as each side makes its case, the level of speculation accurate or not as is high as it is.

But as Marchionne himself added when talking about Ferrari's future line-up "the decision also depends on the drivers and what they want."

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