Luca di Montezemolo has put a dampener on unrelenting speculation that Fernando Alonso is still a dark horse for a Ferrari seat in 2009.

Luca di Montezemolo has put a dampener on unrelenting speculation that Fernando Alonso is still a dark horse for a Ferrari seat in 2009.

Spanish newspapers this week have been reporting that an eleventh-hour seat swap between Kimi Raikkonen and Renault's Alonso might be engineered by Montezemolo, the president of the Ferrari marque.

"I do not want to show a lack of respect to Alonso or anyone else," the Italian told La Repubblica newspaper, "but we already have two drivers.

"We are staying with what we have already confirmed for next year," he said. "Everything else is fictional and I hope these stories stop.

"We have also confirmed our two testers, Badoer and Gene. A team that wins does not change. And we did win," Montezemolo, referring to Ferrari's 2008 constructors' title, explained.

He said the manner of Massa's achievement as championship runner-up proved the Brazilian's quality as a "champion" in waiting, and defended Ferrari's outgoing world champion Raikkonen.

"I expect him now to return to the extraordinary performance of last year and the start of this season," Montezemolo said of the Finn, according to another Italian newspaper, La Stampa.

"On some occasions, Hamilton also made mistakes, such as Spa, when he was lucky to find the gravel and not the guard-rail.

"Raikkonen (departing) has never been discussed: his points have been valuable for the constructors' title.

"The Ferrari couple is the strongest in the championship: we are not changing," he said, refusing to rule Alonso out of the picture altogether.

He answered: "Well, in the future anything is possible. Such as one day I will retire!

"But next year we want to recover the drivers' title with Massa and Raikkonen, and we have full confidence that we will do so."

 

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