NOVEMBER 10, 2000
Alonso the center of attention in F1 circles
The 19-year-old is, according to reports in Italy, close to sealing a deal to drive for Minardi, who he is contracted to on a five-year long-term deal, in 2001.
With Marc Gene's future with the Italian minnows looking increasingly doubtful, Alonso has emerged as the likely candidate to replace him with Leaseplan, a company who support the driver, close to finalizing a sponsorship deal with Minardi.
But in a surprise move, double-winning Ferrari are ready to pounce for the talented teenager and want to appoint him as their second test driver behind Italian Luca Badoer.
And in a bizarre twist, Ferrari, who will supply engines to Prost next year, will push for Alonso to be named as the second driver to Jean Alesi with the Guyancourt-based team.