Fernando Alonso turned down an opportunity to switch immediately to Ferrari out of loyalty to his current F1 employer Renault.
That is the claim of a Spanish newspaper, following authoritative reports from Italy that the former double world champion has now penned a deal to race with the famous Maranello based team in 2010 or 2011.
Diario AS said Ferrari were prepared to put Alonso, 27, into the 2009 race seat of Kimi Raikkonen, who despite winning the title in 2007 had a disappointing season last year.
But Alonso, said the newspaper, put a stop to the deal because it would have left Renault in the lurch less than three months from the start of the 2009 season.
"In short, the Italian team's sudden interest came too late for Fernando," AS said.