Ferrari struggling to tie Alonso down

GP BELGIO F1/2014Fernando Alonso is locked in talks over his future with Ferrari, the Italian giants said Thursday as McLaren dangle a reported 50 million-euro (39.2m pounds, $63.4m) deal to lure away the Spaniard.

“At this moment, in Japan, Alonso is discussing his future at Ferrari,” said Luca di Montezemolo, the Ferrari president.

The double world champion Alonso has been linked with a return to McLaren either next year or in 2016 with Spanish press reports claiming his former employers were preparing a 50 million euro deal, around 30 million more than his current contract.

“He has had some fantastic races for us over the last four years. Our team manager Marco Mattiacci has talked to him about the future and I am sure we will find the best solution for him and for Ferrari, whatever that may be.”

Montezemolo, who has been in charge at Ferrari for 23 years, will quit on October 13 to be replaced by Sergio Marchionne.

“I must thank Alonso because whether he stays or doesn’t stay, he has done a lot for Ferrari,” added Montezemolo, who was speaking at the Paris Motor Show, of a driver whose Ferrari deal runs until 2015.

“We have a contract and in the next few days we are going to take a final decision with a lot of respect for one another.”

Montezemolo refused to speculate on what might be Alonso’s decision.

“Perhaps yes, perhaps no. If he says he will stay, we will be happy. If we decide together to end our collaboration, it will be in the best manner possible,” he added.

Alonso is currently in Japan preparing for Sunday’s latest Formula One grand prix at Suzuka.

“At the moment I am not leaving. There’s a new rumour every day and like I said at Singapore, it does not help. What helps the team are results on the track,” said the 33-year-old earlier Thursday.

“It’s all just rumours. When I have dinner with my mechanics, they ask me what am I going to do and it makes me sad.

“I put the interests of the team and the interests of the ‘tifosi’ (fans) before my own.”

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