Okay, I haven’t seen this written joined up anywhere, there are several rumours flying around that if you connect make a perfect storm situation. I’m going to do it first so I can say I told you so.
A bit of history
Years ago Jean Todt said that neither Kimi or Alonso would ever drive for him because they had both snubbed offers of being number 2 to Michael, they both wanted to be number 1 somewhere else. Last year Todt was still desperately trying to persuade Michael to stay at Ferrari, but Luca di Montezemolo had different ideas. He wanted Kimi as Michael’s replacement. So against Todt’s will Kimi was hired leaving Todt to sort out who the second driver was. Michael bowed out, famously suggesting that he didn’t want to ruin Massa’s chances of a drive. Fillipe Massa is part of the Todt stable, he is managed by Jean’s son.
The current situation
Alonso is being sprung from his contract at McLaren. Both Alonso and McLaren are trying to get the other one to back down, Alonso wants McLaren to fire him, McLaren want Alonso to quit. It’s a complicated situation but in the end Alonso doesn’t really want to go back to Renault as much as Flav wants him to go. Flav needs Alonso a lot more than Alonso needs Flav. He will go if he can’t get to a competitive team however. There is only one other competitive team (I believe BMW is closed to him), and that is Ferrari. Ferrari also have another problem which is that they want to bring Ross Brawn back into the fold.
So what’s going to happen?
Jean Todt has decided to go to Toyota. They have problems, he has enough clout to solve them, it will be a new challenge for him, it will be exciting. He’s sick the Luca di Montezemolo seems to be so much in charge at Ferrari now. It was too big a betrayal to hire Kimi without his permission. The fact that Montezemolo now wants Alonso to join would be too much.
- Todt will go to Toyota for next year
- Taking Massa with him, replacing Ralf Schumacher
- Ross Brawn will replace Todt at Ferrari
- Alonso will replace Massa at Ferrari
- Jenson will, surprisingly, be with McLaren next year
- Timo Glock will replace Fisichella
- Ralf will join Spyker alongside Sutil (he brought Kingfisher to Toyota, Kingfisher will go to Spyker next year as they now have the same owner)
- Fisichella will be test driver for Renault
The reason that Massa was able to deny that his manager had been at the Toyota garage is that the person had spotted the wrong Todt. Jean was at Toyota not Nicholas.
Okay that’s just about ridiculously over-precise.